MCAN receives $1.425 million in grant funding from Kresge and Leinweber foundations
LANSING, Mich. — Michigan College Access Network (MCAN) has received a combined $1.425 million in grant funding from The Kresge Foundation and the Leinweber Foundation to support the organization’s general operations. The grants will increase MCAN’s capacity to improve postsecondary attainment in Michigan, promote equity and strengthen the network of partners committed to expanding college access across the state.
The Kresge Foundation works to expand opportunities in America’s cities through grantmaking and social investment in arts and culture, education, environment, health, human services and community development. The Foundation’s Education Program seeks to help more students from low-income backgrounds and students of color successfully enter and complete college. Its $1.275 million grant to MCAN will run through September 2025.
“MCAN is the bedrock of Michigan’s college access and success movement and Kresge is proud to be a longtime MCAN supporter. We are heartened by the strides Michigan has made in increasing its college attainment levels, thanks in no small part to MCAN’s leadership, advocacy and programming,” said Caroline Altman Smith, The Kresge Foundation’s deputy director of education. “As our state strives to recover from the pandemic, we’re grateful to know that MCAN will continue leading the charge on achieving equitable postsecondary outcomes for all students.”
The Leinweber Foundation seeks positive and transformational change at both the macro and individual level by funding innovative research, access to education and community initiatives. The Foundation’s $150,000 in grant funding will extend through December 2023.
“The Leinweber Foundation has supported MCAN for three consecutive years, as MCAN continues to drive postsecondary access and attainment in Michigan,” said Jessica Leinweber, executive director of the Leinweber Foundation. “Increasing access to higher education is not only a key mission of the Leinweber Foundation, but also critical to the economic success of Michigan and its residents. MCAN's comprehensive approach to building the pipeline of college students and supporting them through graduation serves an important role in bolstering the Michigan education landscape."
Grants from both Michigan-based foundations will support priority initiatives in MCAN’s three-year strategic plan, adopted in December 2021. The plan expands MCAN’s scope of work to include adult learners, college completion and workforce and employer engagement.
“Reaching Sixty by 30 takes long-term investment by multiple partners across the state,” said Ryan Fewins-Bliss, executive director of MCAN. “We are fortunate that The Kresge Foundation and the Leinweber Foundation are engaged in this critical work with us, and know that these sustained partnerships will continue to fuel Michigan’s momentum toward our shared goal. With their support and leadership, we can work in new, strategic ways to ensure that every student in Michigan has the opportunity to attend college — especially low-income students, first-generation college-going students and students of color.”
ABOUT THE KRESGE FOUNDATION
The Kresge Foundation was founded in 1924 to promote human progress. Today, the foundation fulfills that mission by building and strengthening pathways to opportunity for low-income people in America’s cities, seeking to dismantle structural and systemic barriers to equality and justice. Using a full array of grant, loan, and other investment tools, Kresge invests more than $160 million annually to foster economic and social change. For more information, visit kresge.org.
ABOUT THE LEINWEBER FOUNDATION
The Leinweber Foundation is a Michigan-based family foundation dedicated to advancing their local community and broader society by investing in three key mission areas: research, education and community. The foundation seeks to support innovative and impactful research, expand access to education for students from underserved and rural areas, and support the health and vitality of its community and beyond. The foundation is guided by the values of founder Larry D. Leinweber and his innate curiosity and unwavering commitment to learning and personal growth. It strives to support initiatives that reflect his core principles of curiosity, hard work, perseverance, personal responsibility and compassion, with an emphasis on programs that empower individuals and foster self-reliance. For more information, visit leinweberfoundation.org.