Hi everyone! I’m Jim Southard and I’m serving at the Lenawee Community Foundation and I am working with our community partners, Lenawee College Access Network (LCAN), VOLUNTEER Lenawee!, and Lenawee YOUTH Council.
We are working on a new initiative of early interventions and have created a “Transition Conference” for our 8th grade students throughout Lenawee County. Our goal is to raise some early awareness to help our students prepare for academic success and retention in post-secondary endeavors. Some of the topics we will present on are:
• Who is LCAN (we do a brief introduction of who we are, show them our website, Facebook, email, etc.)
• What LCAN can do for you (briefly explain some of our resources, events, and initiatives)
• Talk about transcripts / academic success
• What is Post-Secondary Education/credentials
• Types of colleges / universities and trade/tech schools (benefits of each)
• Post-Secondary Affordability (Very brief, explain that it’s possible to go to college)
• How to get involved? (Volunteering, community service, teams, etc.) Why it’s important
LCAN’s goal is by 2025, 60% of our residents will have a post-secondary degree or beneficial credential. We are hoping that with early awareness, we can help students transition into their freshman year more smoothly, and not encounter as many issues especially with academic success. We also will leave them with a folder of some information about career paths and other resources that are available.
Lenawee YOUTH Council has also teamed up with the Lenawee College Access Network and I have been busy scheduling and taking students on college visits. We recently visited Jackson College and Spring Arbor University on MLK Day. We have trips planned April 4th to visit Eastern Michigan University and Concordia University, April 5th Adrian College, and April 23 Siena Heights University. We are also in the process of planning some summer visits to the University of Michigan, Washtenaw Community College, Western Michigan University, and Grand Valley State University. The college visits are a good way to engage students and acclimate them to a college going culture.
It’s hard to believe we are halfway through February. This year of service is flying by and I am looking forward to seeing you all in Lansing on the 3rd and hearing about all the exciting things you all are doing. Keep up the good work! - Jim
Each blog post was written by one of our VISTAs!