MACKINAC ISLAND (WWJ) – Once again, public  education will be a hot topic at the Detroit Regional Chamber Mackinac Policy Conference, this week on Mackinac Island.

As WWJ’s City Beat Reporter Vickie Thomas spoke with the new Emergency Financial Manager of the Detroit Public Schools, who will be part of a panel, making his first appearance on the island in his new role.

“I want these young people to dream big dreams and think big thoughts. That’s my dream,” said retired GM executive Roy Roberts, who added that when he looks at students, he seems himself.

“I grew up in a home where my father had ten kids. I was one of ten. My mother died when I was young. I didn’t have books in my house, because we didn’t have money. I didn’t have a father that could help me with my homework because he had limited education,” Roberts said.

Roberts said getting an education turned dreams into reality for him and that’s his hope for the children of Detroit.

“We have to give them a chance and a choice, and that’s what I’m about. I’m here for that reason,” he said. “I think that’s the most important thing I could do with the rest of my life,” Roberts said.

Hear Vickie’s complete interview with Roberts:

Hundreds of Michigan’s political and business leaders will converge on Mackinac Island, June 1-3, for the 2011 Detroit Regional Chamber Mackinac Policy Conference, to focus on energizing, rebuilding and reinventing Michigan.

Vickie, along with WWJ’s Matt Roush will be there. Stay with WWJ Newsradio 950 and for complete coverage, with live reports throughout the conference. Click here for the Conference Agenda (.pdf format) –

– More Mackinac Policy Conference coverage –


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