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Ballmer Group awards $1.35 million to MCAN for strategic initiatives

Balmer Group logo in royal blue and MCAN logo in teal over a white background with royal blue thank you banner at the bottom; text in white: "Thank You $1.35 million grant"

LANSING, Mich. — Michigan College Access Network (MCAN) has received a $1.35 million grant from Ballmer Group to support college access and attainment in Michigan. This is MCAN’s first grant from Ballmer Group, and it provides the remaining funds required by MCAN’s match challenge from The Kresge Foundation in April 2019. This grant is MCAN’s third philanthropic million-dollar grant in its history. 


“We are invigorated by Ballmer Group’s investment in postsecondary attainment in Michigan,” said Ryan Fewins-Bliss, executive director of MCAN. “This generous investment will enable us to address equity in higher education, leverage our network and strengthen our work as we focus on a 60% attainment rate for the state, particularly in Southeast Michigan.”


 This funding from Ballmer Group will be used to support and expand MCAN’s initiatives that derive from its strategic plan: foster a college-going culture, identify multiple postsecondary education pathways and facilitate smooth transitions, improve college affordability, and support credential completion. Part of the funding will also support the work of the Detroit College Access Network. 

“A college degree can directly improve economic mobility, leading to better wages and sustainable career paths,” said Kylee Mitchell Wells, Executive Director of Ballmer Group, Southeast Michigan. “We are proud to support the work of Michigan College Access Network to make college more accessible for young people in our state.” 

MCAN is a public-private partnership. State appropriation funds provide a foundation for MCAN’s budget, which is then leveraged to generate support from private organizations. Together, these funds ensure the state is making progress toward having an educated workforce for the future. 

Ballmer Group works to improve economic mobility for children and families in the United States who are disproportionately likely to remain in poverty. We believe that building pathways to opportunity requires broad, systemic change, and we work to understand and mitigate the systemic and inequitable impact of race on economic mobility. Ballmer Group was co-founded by philanthropist and civic activist Connie Ballmer and her husband Steve Ballmer, former CEO of Microsoft, founder of USAFacts, and chairman of the Los Angeles Clippers. Learn more at and on Twitter @BallmerGroup.

MCAN recently received a $1.35 million grant to sustain current and emerging initiatives that increase postsecondary attainment rates in Michigan, specifically in metro Detroit