UM-Flint's Mpowering My Success receives $500,000 grant

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Mpowering My Success students with Life Skills Coach Rachel Osmer (far left) and mentors at an apple orchard for a fall outing.

The University of Michigan-Flint's Mpowering My Success program received a $506,852 grant from the state of Michigan to continue for another three years.

Mpowering My Success, which is a program within Education Opportunity Initiatives, supports students who experienced time in foster care as teenagers. The program had the highest evaluation score of any similar initiative in the state, scoring 97 out of a possible 100 points.

"We are excited about the prospect of continuing to provide well-rounded, holistic support to our students, and we're grateful to have received the grant," said Rachel Osmer, Mpowering My Success life skills coach.

From group workshops to meeting one-on-one with a life skills coach, the goal of Mpowering My Success is to provide students with a variety of resources to overcome potential challenges, build and develop life skills and obtain a college degree. Services include personalized success plans that focus on education, mental health, belonging, relationships and life skills.

In the state evaluation for the grant, Mpowering received perfect scores in two areas: staffing, training, agency organization and location; and in education, credentials and qualifications.

The grant provides funding for Mpowering to continue for another three years, including staff members, programming, and money to allow each student to utilize $300 per year for emergency needs. Currently, Mpowering My Success serves 15 students and is actively recruiting more.

Mpowering is an important service for student success. The national college graduation rate of youth from foster care is less than 3 percent, according to the Adoption and Foster Care Analysis and Reporting System.

"The impact Mpowering is making may seem small, but the reality is that it is making a big difference," Osmer said.

Lindsay Knake is the Communications Coordinator for the UM-Flint Division of Student Affairs. Contact her with any questions, comments, or ideas about the DSA newsletter, social media, events, and communications.