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LANSING, Mich. — Michigan College Access Network (MCAN) has awarded $69,935 in its 11th round of COVID-19 Response Grants to 10 organizations in Michigan. These grants help Michigan high schools, Local College Access Networks, community-based nonprofit organizations and higher education institutions support emergent postsecondary projects and programs in their communities. MCAN is also now partnering with other funders to co-sponsor these grants.

The grants were announced by MCAN in early April 2020 to demonstrate MCAN’s responsiveness to and support of communities affected by the global health pandemic that continues to have a major impact in Michigan, predominantly in minority communities MCAN serves.

Thus far, MCAN has awarded 87 COVID-19 Response Grants totaling $489,690.

The following COVID-19 Response Grants have been awarded:

Addison Community Schools (Addison, Mich.)
Awarded $2,135 
Funded by the Kresge Foundation 
Addison Community Schools will use its grant to provide Chromebooks for high school seniors, allowing them to access valuable online college preparation resources and complete the FAFSA. 


Downtown Boxing Gym (Detroit, Mich.)
Awarded $6,000 
Funded by the Kresge Foundation 
Downtown Detroit Boxing Gym will use its grant to support its Prep for Success program, which assists high school students with ACT/SAT prep, FAFSA completion, and professional development classes. 


Early College Alliance at Eastern Michigan University (Ypsilanti, Mich.)
Awarded $10,000 
Funded by the Kresge Foundation 
The Early College Alliance at Eastern Michigan University offers high school students a chance to attain a high school diploma while earning valuable college credits. It will use this grant to hire a part-time Connection Coach to reach out to, mentor, and support struggling students.  


Ferris State University (Big Rapids, Mich.) 
Awarded $18,000 
$10,000 provided by MCAN  
$8,000 provided by the Kresge Foundation 
These are FSU’s third and fourth COVID-19 Response Grants from MCAN.  
Ferris State University was awarded two grants in this round of funding. It will use the $10,000 grant to implement the Ferris State Peer Coaching program, which will pair incoming students with a peer coach to increase students’ sense of belonging and confidence in their ability to succeed personally and academically. The $8,000 grant will be used to improve Wi-Fi access on campus, including parking lots and other outdoor areas, to help address internet access issues caused by the closure of coffee shops, libraries, and other community Wi-Fi spaces.  


Junior Achievement of the Michigan Great Lakes (Grand Rapids, Mich.) 
Awarded $10,000 
Junior Achievement of the Michigan Great Lakes will use its grant to deliver Junior Achievement curriculum and resources to partner high schools using in-person, online, hybrid, and print-only models developed to work with the variety teaching models in use across the state. 


Kenowa Hills Pathways High School (Grand Rapids, Mich.) 
Awarded $3,800   
Funded by the Kresge Foundation 
Kenowa Hills Pathways High School will use its grant to launch a Pathways to Post-Secondary Success program to help make up for valuable experiences missed due to COVID-19 shutting down in-person learning. This program will reach out to last year’s graduating seniors to insure they have a career plan, as well as provide college and career education programs for this year’s seniors. 


Keweenaw Bay Ojibwa Community College (Baraga, Mich.) 
Awarded $10,000 
Funded by the Kresge Foundation 
Keweenaw Bay Ojibwa Community College will use its grant to address mental and physical health challenges among indigenous students that have been amplified by the COVID-19 pandemic. The Readiness through Wellness program will offer online sessions by tribal community members addressing various health topics. 


Monroe County Community College (Monroe, Mich.)
Awarded $2,500 
Monroe County Community College (MCCC) will use its grant to pay for a Success Coach who will help impact college completion for at least 25 low-income and/or students of color and/or first-generation college-going students studying at MCCC.  


River Rouge High School (River Rouge, Mich.) 
Awarded $2,500 
$1,250 provided by MCAN 
$1,250 provided by the Jacob Family Foundation 
River Rouge High School will use its grant to create the COVID Computer Relief program, which will provide laptops and Chromebooks to seniors who do not have reliable computers at home. Students will be encouraged to use the computers for online coursework, as well as SAT prep, FAFSA applications, and college applications. 


YMCA of Greater Grand Rapids (Grand Rapids, Mich.) 
Awarded $5,000 
Funded by the Kresge Foundation 
YMCA of Greater Grand Rapids will use its grant to support its Virtual Y-Achievers program, which seeks to address the achievement gap among low income students and students of color. Students in the program learn about college and career options, financial aid, and modern workplace skills. 


“Since April, MCAN has taken on the responsibility of funding impactful postsecondary attainment initiatives across the state of Michigan,” said Ryan Fewins-Bliss, executive director of MCAN. “The global health pandemic has disproportionately affected populations traditionally prevented from accessing higher education, including low-income students, first-generation college-going students and students of color. I’m proud that we have the capacity to rapidly mobilize resources and act as a support to schools and organizations. I also want to acknowledge all of the funding partners who have joined us in co-funding some of these grants."