When my neighbors and I first gathered in 1990 to discuss helping local students access higher education, we knew there would be many people who shared our passion. With the help of more and more friends and community members each year, we have been able to inspire and prepare nearly 1,000 students to achieve their dreams. Today, we serve more than 360 student participants annually.
Over the last 30 years, I have seen our program grow from one partner high school, to 13 partner high schools reaching across five counties in Southeast Michigan. During that time, our organization has transformed from a grassroots effort to help students realize their potential, to a college access, success and scholarship program. I feel proud to look back at our humble beginning, knowing how much we’ve accomplished together.
This school year, we were forced to transform again, and fast. When schools everywhere began to close their doors to protect students from COVID-19, we knew we needed to adapt to continue to serve students. In just a short time, we were able to provide access to virtual resources, increase one-on-one assistance and advising, and work more closely with partner high school to make sure students had the support they needed to succeed.
It is important that our students feel supported during times of change. We are dedicated to providing students with the resources and programming they need to succeed and remain on the path to higher education whether they are studying from home or from their classrooms. I know we will continue to grow and adapt to the ever-changing landscape of education and college access, and I’m looking forward to another 30 years of success.
William C. Young