Hello from Tecumseh at the Lenawee Community Foundation! Where has the time gone? It’s hard to believe that some of us will be wrapping up our service in August. I have been very busy since my last blog. With the change of seasons comes new projects and tasks. We moved to our new office in January, and time has flown by ever since.
One of the new initiatives that I have been working on through the Lenawee College Access Network (LCAN) is verifying our senior class county wide for TIP (Tuition Incentive Program). The Tuition Incentive Program (TIP) encourages eligible students to complete high school by providing tuition assistance for the first two years of college and beyond! To be eligible for TIP, a student must have (or have had) Medicaid coverage for 24 months within any 36-consecutive-month period, as identified by the Michigan Department of Human Services. Students can become TIP eligible as early as age 9. Since the student must be Medicaid eligible for 24 months out of a 36-consecutive-month period, the state begins to look at the 36-month period prior to the date of the student’s 9th birthday and goes forward until high school graduation.
We held our first annual LCAN Transition Conference for the junior class county wide. We invited several people from our community to come talk to the students about things they need to prepare to do for their senior year. We discussed career options, college access and affordability, military, and technical and trade schools. This was a success and plans are in place to continue it next year. I also have been dealing with some staff changes with the LCAN Coordinator, but I think we should be in good shape in time for fall and college application week. I have been busy taking students on college visits to various college and universities in the state of Michigan.
VOLUNTEER Lenawee! has been keeping me very busy. We launched our new volunteering matching software, GiveGab. I have been out visiting with agencies and community partners training them to use it. The response has been great so far and they really like the new platform. I worked with a class of seniors in Morenci, Michigan. This is one of Lenawee County’s smaller districts. They piloted a new leadership class that offers a unique curriculum that teaches life lessons in leadership, teamwork, responsibility, credibility, and philanthropy to name a few. I taught them about poverty and economic disadvantages, and they decided to roll up their sleeves and get out into their school and community and make a difference. Some of the activities included manual labor such as yard work, painting, cleaning, etc. Others took on a commitment to tutor children in the elementary school, some served as a teacher assistants in some of the classrooms, and some even crocheted blankets to give to young mothers in the community. It was great to see a class step up and take the initiative to improve their school and community.
As you can see I have many irons in the fire. I feel like I finally got the momentum I need to build capacity to educate, encourage, and engage Lenawee County residents to find their way to higher education and how to get involved and take action in their community. However, there is still work to be done here, therefore, I have decided to stay for another year of service!
As you all start to plan your next chapter, I want to wish you all much luck and success in your future endeavors!
2015 College Visit to MSU - Sparty On! Sponsored by the Lenawee Youth Council
and the Lenawee College Access Network.
Each blog post was written by one of our VISTAs!