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MCAN awards $20,000 in Innovative Program Grants

MCAN logo next to Give Merit and Encourage Me I'm Young logos

LANSING, Mich. — Michigan College Access Network (MCAN) has awarded $20,000 in Innovative Program Grants to two Detroit-based organizations to help fund college preparation programs. Give Merit and Encourage Me I’m Young (EMIY) each received a $10,000 grant.

Give Merit exists to enhance and extend educational opportunities to Detroit youth through innovative enrichment, mentorship and athletic activities. The organization will use the grant funding to support its FATE program, which provides students from Jalen Rose Leadership Academy with innovative programming that blends project-based learning, character development, career exposure and mentorship into a co-curricular experience that emphasizes the value of education and its role in achieving long-term career and personal goals.

“The support we've received from MCAN will greatly enhance our ability to not only serve more Detroit youth, but to also serve them better — and that's what these young people deserve,” said Kuhu Saha, Give Merit executive director.

The mission of EMIY is to uplift and encourage youth of all ages to become compassionate, intelligent and logical decision-makers while embracing their abilities to become the future leaders of encouragement and empowerment. The organization will use its funding to support its ELITE program, which helps males age 14-24 develop critical social, educational and leadership skills.

“MCAN’s support will help provide the young men we serve chances to explore college access and career opportunities through meaningful engagement and mentorship that is not readily available to many young people,” said Heather Hetheru Miller, EMIY executive director.

“Organizations that support the postsecondary goals of low-income students, first-generation college-going students and students of color are vital to our work to reach Sixty by 30,” said Ryan Fewins-Bliss, MCAN executive director. “MCAN is proud to support the work of these two organizations who are helping to build a brighter future for Detroit students.”

MCAN’s Innovative Program Grants are used to fund programming that increases college readiness, enrollment and completion in local communities and across the state through grants of up to $10,000. These grants are available on a rolling basis until allocated funding is depleted within the fiscal year. To learn more about MCAN’s grant programs, visit

To learn more about Give Merit, visit; to learn more about EMIY, visit

Funds will support college preparation programs at two Detroit organizations