When it comes to building a good life for yourself, education is a key factor. For some, a decent education has simply been a normal aspect of their life. For others, it’s much harder to find.
Thankfully there are organizations like Mercy Education Project (MEP), a 501(c)(3) nonprofit that provides educational resources to women and girls in southwest Detroit. When MEP was founded by the Sisters of Mercy of Detroit in 1992, there were 14 girls in the first class, which took the form of a summer tutoring program.
Today, MEP’s programs support two main pillars of work that they do: 1) Helping adult women earn their GED and 2) Helping second through twelfth graders keep up with their normal school work so they don’t fall behind and in turn graduate from high school on time. The women seeking their GED come to MEP during the day while the girls attend after school in the evening.
To achieve the goals of the program, MEP provides GED classes, adult basic education, adult literacy classes, computer literacy classes, one-on-one tutoring sessions and more. As the women complete each portion of the GED requirements, they are recognized by their teachers and peers with their name being displayed on a board for all to see their progress towards completing all requirements.
When the girls visit in the evening, they are treated to a meal before taking part in a group activity that can range from lessons in emotional development to STEM-related projects. After their group activity, each girl is assigned a tutor and they spend the rest of the evening getting one-on-one support with their daily school work.
In addition to the tutoring, MEP also offers additional resources, such as the “Emerging Leaders” program for middle schoolers and the “Spring Break College Camp” for high schoolers. The Emerging Leaders summer program is designed to give the girls lessons in the areas of leadership and personal development while the Spring Break College Camp offers high school girls the opportunity to spend a week visiting different colleges across Michigan.
Whether they’re graduating high school or seeking their GED, MEP’s primary goal is to see their students go on to further education or find work in a career of their choice. In fact, 75% of MEP’s students who receive their GED have gone on to college, employment, or job training programs and 100% of MEP high school senior girls have been accepted into college.
If you’d like to learn more about Mercy Education Project and the vital resources they provide, visit mercyed.net.