Faces of Mercy: John King

John King came to MEP in 2007 when a current volunteer suggested his math skills would be an asset to the Women’s program at Mercy Education Project, and he has never looked back.  During his 40 plus years as an engineer with Ford Motor Company, John, now retired, spent many years as a manager of engineering education, mentoring and teaching others. John already had a long volunteer resume before arriving at 1450 Howard Street, continuing to teach and mentor after retirement. He tutored at Loyola High School in Detroit, Focus Hope, Northville Youth Assistance and taught Elementary and High School math application through a program at the Society of Automotive Engineers.

You can say – John King simply loves math and is devoted to helping others master mathematical concepts that are the basis for success in everyday life and many professions. He tells a cute story of teaching percentages to a waitress on a napkin in a local restaurant and the excited feeling he had when she ‘got it’. He is always teaching, everywhere he goes!

John teaches two days a week in the Women’s Educational Services program at Mercy Education Project. He also tutors students when extra one-to one help is needed.

John is in awe of his students and their achievements – he gets to know them well and listens to their stories during lunch breaks. He remarks, “Getting a GED and the students’ accomplishments is not the story of this program– it is getting the GED and accomplishing all they do with all the odds and barriers against them. It is an honor to teach at MEP.”

John King feels he walks away from each class session with so much more than he gives. “I receive genuine, unconditional appreciation from my students – I love to teach math – and each day I see the difference I am making in each woman’s story.”

John wrote a poem – Women in a Doorway – it is a collage of the many stories he has heard over the past nine years.

 See a copy of Women in a Doorway here.

MEN for MEP suppporters at the 2016 Doorway to the Future Dinner.  Seated from left - Craig Orr, John King, Nick Nigro and Jim Wilkins.  Standing from left - Marc Robert, Mike Zachos, Jack Day & Bill Gilmore.

John’s service to MEP goes beyond teaching. For years he tutored the children and grandchildren of his friends and when John offered to refurbish classrooms at MEP – he called upon those friends to volunteer to get the project done over a long weekend.

John also wanted to increase the number of men who support MEP so he began to recruit friends to come to the Doorway Dinner fundraising event each year – he named his group Men for MEP. John encourages any guys reading this story to jump onboard to support MEP’s fundraising events. Those interested in sitting with the Men for MEP next April – please call MEP at 313-963-5881 and leave a message with your contact information for John King.

John’s talents and interests beyond math include teaching ballroom dancing, hiking everywhere and anywhere -- John leads hikes locally and up north, and he writes.

Thank you, John for all you do on behalf of our students!!



Media inquiries, please contact:

1450 Howard Street

Detroit, MI 48216
Phone:  (313) 963-5881
Fax:  (313) 963-0209
Email: [email protected]

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Bulletin Board

Here are some recent comments from community members, volunteers, students and others who are commenting on Mercy Education Project.


"Education is an opportunity and can be transformational for our most vulnerable communities; especially those, like us, working tirelessly in search of the American Dream. Programs like Mercy Education Project have successfully removed those barriers for many and have educated our women and girls and is transforming their lives."

JoAnn Chávez, Vice President Legal & Chief Tax Officer
DTE Energy, August 2017


"….Literacy is a fundamental right and an essential building block for a productive life. Increasing adult literacy also ensures more parents can be engaged in their children’s education, ,making this a cause  critical to helping families break the cycle of poverty. Thank you to Mercy Education Project for their tireless efforts to ensure everyone has an opportunity to learn to read. Together, I know we are making a difference.”

Warren C. Evans, Wayne County Executive
Wayne County, December 2016