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Winning Futures receives Innovative Program Grant from Michigan College Access Network

Jan. 10, 2019 - LANSING, MICH.—Winning Futures in Warren, Michigan, was awarded an Innovative Program Grant by the Michigan College Access Network (MCAN). This $10,000 award will be used to teach 10th graders soft skills and provide hands-on opportunities that enable them to gain workplace experience and prepare them for college and their career. Students from seven metro Detroit high schools will participate in this program: Cass Technical (Detroit), Community (Warren Consolidated alternative; Sterling Heights), Mumford (Detroit), Harper Woods, Madison (Madison Heights), Pontiac Academy for Excellence and Warren Mott.

According to Winning Futures, “Tenth graders will complete a weekly mentoring program matched with trained business mentors from the local community. Mentors meet their mentees during the day at their school in a designated Winning Futures’ classroom one hour per week for 21 weeks.”

The soft-skills education portion of the program will feature a curriculum that includes these topics: Positive Attitudes, Strengths & Talents, Values & Ethics in the Workplace, Career Planning & Exploration, Finding the Right Continuing Education Fit, Short & Long-Term Goal Setting, Academic Goal Setting, Study Skills, Overcoming Obstacles, Mapping a Career Plan, Support Teams, Public Speaking and Professionalism.

“Our Workforce Prep program will work with those students to inspire them to graduate from high school, find continuing education and a career path that is a good fit, and stay with them as they complete that crucial first year of continuing education, helping ensure completion of their education,” stated Kristina Marshall, president and CEO of Winning Futures. 

Winning Futures cited research from Business Leaders for Michigan that found that, “only 23 percent of Michigan high school graduates are college and career ready, putting Michigan in the bottom half of states in terms of college-ready grads.”

“This grant addresses the lack of basic skills that are needed in the workplace in Michigan, as reported by employers,” said Brandy Johnson, executive director of the Michigan College Access Network. “This program connects career and college, which is important for preparing students for their futures.”

Innovative Program Grants are designed to fund programming that increases college readiness, enrollment, and completion in local communities and across the state through grants of up to $10,000. Since these grants were introduced in 2016, MCAN has awarded more than $276,000 in 30 different Innovative Program Grants to organizations throughout the state.


About Michigan College Access Network (MCAN)

As the leader in the state’s college access movement, MCAN has a mission to increase Michigan’s college readiness, participation and completion rates, particularly among low-income students, first-generation college-going students and students of color. For the eighth year in a row, Michigan’s postsecondary educational attainment rate has increased — from 35.7% of 25-to-64-year-olds possessing at least an associate degree in 2008, to 41% in 2018. Additionally, it is estimated another 4% of Michiganders have a postsecondary certificate, bringing Michigan’s official 2019 attainment rate to 45%. MCAN’s goal is to increase Michigan’s postsecondary educational attainment rate to 60% by 2030. 


Media Contact: Christopher Tremblay 


Cell: 814-504-5650

The grant will support the Workforce Prep pilot program for approximately 500 10th graders at seven Metro Detroit high schools.