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GM Foundation Grants $500,000 to Focus: HOPE

Jul 19
GM Foundation Grants $500,000 to Focus: HOPE

Funds CAT that bridges student access to college completion and careers

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A $500,000 grant from the GM Foundation, along with support from the Society of Automotive Engineers (SAE) International​ have, and will continue to support our Center for Advanced Technologies​ (CAT), which is a critical component to our Workforce Development & Educational programs​. Our Center for Advanced Technologies is a three-step program that puts students on the path for higher education and long-term success in STEM (science, technology, engineering, mathematics) fields, fields that Detroit corporations and companies need to fill causing a positive, rippling effect in our economy.

Our CAT program primarily serves high school graduates (or with GED) from underrepresented, disadvantaged and minority backgrounds, who also do not have access, the skill set, education or money to earn a higher education and give those individuals opportunities, real opportunities that sets them on a path for long-term success. Our holistic approach to bridging students’ access to college completion and career opportunity has the potential for replication in modeling the realignment of undereducated high school graduates, to successful professionals that will permanently preclude them from unemployment, social assistance programs, incarceration, and lead them on to fulfilling, self-sufficient lives, thus breaking the cycle of poverty for generations.

“It was a blessing from God that I was able to find Focus: HOPE at the time that I did,” said Donald Hutchison, Associate Dean of Engineering & Technology at Macomb Community College, graduate of Focus: HOPE’s CAT. “So many of my friends from the neighborhood I grew up in are dead, or in prison and some of them are still in that same neighborhood. It’s unfortunate, but that very easily could have been me if I had not found a true path and passion for a career that Focus: HOPE gave me.”  

Our CAT’s three step program is designed to give our graduate’s that exact hope and passion that is waiting for them right here on our campus. The program begins with STEM Bridge, which is designed to prepare students with the study skills, academics and professional coaching, essential to succeeding in higher education and professional careers. After completion of our STEM Bridge, students can earn their associate’s degree from Lawrence Technological University at no cost. Students then have the option to earn a bachelor’s degree from various university partners through either our Center for Advanced Technologies or Information Management and Systems Engineering (IMESE) programs. 

“Focus: HOPE gave me a firm sense of discipline when it comes down to studying and setting a goal, they had everything there for me, I just had to go get it,” said Marvin Newson, Jr., Senior Designer at General Motors, Focus: HOPE graduate. 

In 2016, we expect 60% of STEM Bridge graduates to complete their associate degree in two years and at least 70% of all associate degree graduates to complete their bachelor degree in six years. To date, nearly 100% of graduates found employment within 90 days of graduation with an average starting salary of $55,000. 

For more information on our CAT, click here​. For more information on the GM Foundation, click here. For more information on SAE International, click here​

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