Detroit Regional Chamber > MCAN Awards $51,816 in 7 New COVID-19 Response Grants

MCAN Awards $51,816 in 7 New COVID-19 Response Grants

July 30, 2020
*Press release originally posted on

LANSING, Mich. — Michigan College Access Network (MCAN) has awarded $51,816 in its eighth round of COVID-19 Response Grants to seven organizations in Michigan. These grants help Michigan high schools, Local College Access Networks, community-based nonprofit organizations, and higher education institutions support emergent postsecondary projects and programs in their communities. MCAN is also now partnering with other funders to co-sponsor these grants.

The grants were announced by MCAN in early April 2020 to demonstrate MCAN’s responsiveness to and support of communities affected by the global health pandemic that continues to have a major impact in Michigan, predominantly in minority communities MCAN serves.

Thus far, MCAN has awarded 62 COVID-19 Response Grants totaling $341,832.

One grant in this round was co-funded by the Jacob Family Foundation (see Detroit Regional Chamber Foundation below). One grant in this round was co-funded by the Jackson Community Foundation (see Grass Lake High School below).

The following COVID-19 Response Grants have been awarded:

Canton Preparatory High School (Canton, MI)
Awarded $2,500 

Canton Preparatory High School will use the grant for preparing rising seniors to take the SAT. The Academy will offer incentives and support to students using the free SAT prep lessons available through Khan Academy. The focus is on students’ improvement of their skill levels in math, reading, and writing.

Community Foundation of Monroe County (Monroe, MI) 
Awarded $25,000 

The Community Foundation of Monroe County is using its grant for “The Broadband Gap,” which will allow students in rural areas of the county the ability to have internet access for continued learning throughout the 2020-2021 school year. The goal is to reach 1,317 students without current internet access.

Grass Lake High School (Grass Lake, MI)
Awarded $2,300
$1,550 from MCAN
$750 from the Jackson Community Foundation 

Grass Lake High School used its grant to support a virtual celebration of College Decision Day 2020 for graduating seniors.

Detroit Regional Chamber Foundation (Detroit, MI)
Awarded $10,000
$5,000 from MCAN
$5,000 from Jacob Family Foundation

Detroit Regional Chamber Foundation will use its grant for the Metro Detroit Summer Support Center, which will increase college enrollment in Wayne, Oakland, and Macomb counties. The goal is to alleviate barriers to college enrollment by providing direct service for students and families in the region to avoid summer melt and challenges with enrollment.

Mid Michigan College (Harrison, MI) 
Awarded $6,207

Mid Michigan College will use its grant to purchase 10 loaner Wi-Fi hotspots which have the capacity to serve up to 220 students over the course of the Fall 2020 semester.

Saginaw Public Schools (Saginaw, MI) 
Awarded $4,809 

In partnership with the Saginaw Promise Zone, Saginaw Public Schools (SPS) will use its grant for an initiative called College Access Readiness Engagement (CARE) for Summer Melt. (Summer melt is the term used when a student is admitted to college, but over the summer chooses not to attend college.) This funding will enable SPS to provide a postsecondary resource staff person in assisting high school seniors as a bridge between high school and postsecondary education. The objective is to provide a ready resource for students and parents to support postsecondary education enrollment and to reduce “summer melt.”

West Michigan Center for Arts and Technology (WMCAT) (Grand Rapids, MI) 
Awarded $1,200

WMCAT will use its grant for its “Step Year Program,” which is a community-based initiative in partnership with Grand Rapids Community Foundation. This funding will engage 12 Challenge Scholars virtually for 16 weeks in preparation for and during their first semester at Grand Rapids Community College. The overall goal is to support postsecondary first year success and retention, leading to a greater likelihood of degree completion. MCAN provided funding for the Step Year Program when it launched.

“Since April, MCAN has taken on the responsibility of funding impactful postsecondary attainment initiatives across the state of Michigan,” said Ryan Fewins-Bliss, executive director of MCAN. “The global health pandemic has disproportionately affected populations traditionally prevented from accessing higher education including low-income students, first-generation college-going students and students of color. I’m proud that we have the capacity to rapidly mobilize resources and act as a support to schools and organizations. I also want to acknowledge all of the funding partners who have joined us in co-funding some of these grants.”

In the coming weeks, MCAN will be announcing additional grant awards. Thus far, more than 250 grant applications have been started or submitted to MCAN. Applications for these grants are being accepted until July 31, 2020. More information is online.