Eastern Michigan University admissions director honored with Michigan Youth Appreciation Foundation’s Distinguished Service Award

YPSILANTI — Eastern Michigan University’s Director of Admissions LaJoyce Brown was recently honored with the Michigan Youth Appreciation Foundation's Distinguished Service Award for her exceptional contributions to Metro Detroit Youth Day. This annual event brings together youth from diverse backgrounds for sports, fun, and constructive activities. Brown shares the award with John Ambrose, director of admissions at Michigan State University. 

LaJoyce Brown

Founded in 1984 by Michigan State University alumnus Ed Deeb, the event was initially conceived to address tensions among local youth and retailers in the Detroit area. Over the years, it has grown into Michigan's largest youth gathering, attracting nearly 40,000 participants in 2023, thanks to the unwavering dedication of more than 1,800 volunteers representing over 360 organizations and 260 businesses and civic groups.

"It means a lot to receive this award,” said Brown. “This recognition fuels my passion to continue serving and empowering the next generation, and I am grateful for the opportunity to be a part of such a meaningful endeavor."

Brown has been involved with Metro Detroit Youth Day for over 15 years, and for the last seven years, she has served as the co-chair for Ambrose’s College Row, a program for youth to speak with college admissions representatives to learn about post-secondary opportunities, engage in educational activities, and connect with current college students. She has also collaborated with Ambrose to work on several pre-college pathway programs and initiatives, providing more than 2,100 college scholarships to area graduating high school seniors in Metro Detroit.

Since then, Metro Detroit Youth Day has expanded its offerings, incorporating mentorship programs, anti-crime and anti-substance abuse activities, motivational speakers, entertainment, and the awarding of college scholarships. 

“Each year Metro Detroit Youth Day grows due to the interest of universities, organizations, and agencies who dedicate their time to contribute to the event's success,” said Brown. “The most rewarding aspect of my involvement is seeing the youth return each year, grow up, and pursue their educational or career goals because they were introduced to the unlimited possibilities at Metro Detroit Youth Day.”

The 40th annual Metro Detroit Youth Day will happen on Wednesday, July 10, 2024, at Belle Isle and is open to children aged 8-15. For more information, visit https://miyouthfdn.org/.

About Eastern Michigan University
Founded in 1849, Eastern is the second oldest public university in Michigan. It currently serves more than 13,000 students pursuing undergraduate, graduate, specialist, doctoral and certificate degrees in the arts, sciences and professions. In all, more than 300 majors, minors and concentrations are delivered through the University's Colleges of Arts and Sciences; Business; Education; Engineering and Technology; Health and Human Services; and its graduate school. National publications regularly recognize EMU for its excellence, diversity, and commitment to applied education. Visit the University’s rankings and points of pride websites to learn more. For more information about Eastern Michigan University, visit the University's website. To stay up to date on University news, activities and announcements, visit EMU Today.

January 24, 2024

Written by:
Brittany Mobley

Media Contact:
Brittany Mobley