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.





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Susan Bresler
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Mercy Education Project

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

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

"There is no more important work being done than that of Mercy Education Project, which is helping to craft the lives of future women leaders. I am so proud to be a part of its mission and purpose. MEP deserves the support of the entire state."

Rochelle Riley, Columnist and Author
Detroit Free Press

"We can't support every good cause, but Mercy Education Project achieves such profound academic results within its small budget …its programs must be sustained.  Too many young girls and women are in need of MEP’s services – they are counting on us.”

Denise Starr, Director of Human Resources
City of Detroit