Kelly's Comments

This semester I have been doing a lot of preparation for a college and career readiness program we aim to ramp up in the next year.   I want to emphasize the importance of getting a college degree no matter what career one goes into.  College is accessible to our students; however there are a lot of barriers to fulfilling that goal.  Most of our MEP students will be the first in their families to graduate high school, apply to colleges, attend college and graduate with a four year degree. In their minds, college is a very tough, scary and confusing unknown.  Many first generation prospective college students have misconceptions on the cost, financial aid and resources out there to help them get in and succeed.  Many of the barriers are in the mind/perception of the students and their parents, but they are also found in the systems of racial and economic oppression that plagues our culture- yes, even in 2015.  If “the most powerful instrument of economic mobility for low-income Americans is a four-year college degree” as Tough[1] wrote, then we at Mercy Education Project need to find a way to give our girls the resources and confidence to step out of the cycle of poverty many of their families have been in for many generations and grab hold of that instrument. 

 

My parents were the first and only ones in their nuclear families to attend and graduate from college.  They saw what their journey looked like compared to that of their parents and siblings and knew that when they had children, college would not be a choice, but a necessity. I never once thought, “Will I go to college?”  It was always, “Where will I go to college?” or “What will I major in in college?”  But the college part of the equation was a given.  Two years ago, I moved back to the US and after gaining 6 years of experience in education and social work, a bachelor’s and master’s degree and two languages other than English- I found myself working for minimum wage.  I couldn’t find a job for almost a year.  I can only imagine how it would have been if I didn’t have the education and experience or the tools and resources.  That is the story that rings far too true for too many people and I don’t want our girls to be among them. 



[1] Tough, P. Who Gets to Graduate? 2014.

 

 

Categories


Media/Press

Media inquiries, please contact:

Susan Bresler
Director of Development & Marketing
Mercy Education Project

1450 Howard Street
Detroit, MI 48216
Phone:  (313) 963-5881
Fax:  (313) 963-0209
Email: [email protected]

Media Kit

E-newsletters

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