One of the most important things in life is getting an education and a group in Detroit is working to make sure local women have access to a learning environment that supports them. Award-winning author Mitch Albom introduced us to the Mercy Education Project and showed us how the group is making a difference one graduate at a time.
Achieving a high school diploma is the goal of women at Mercy Education Project. The Sisters of Mercy organization offers southwest Detroit moms the chance to finish their education. It says women in our area don't finish high school because of difficulties with transportation and lack of child care. However, once the mothers see their children go to school, they get inspired to go back and finish their education.
This is where the Mercy Education Project comes in, offering classes in math, language arts, social studies and science, all free of charge. It's a no pressure environment at this all women's school. Allowing women to be themselves and supportive of each other.
Johnnetta Bell, the women's program director, says the students that they get were usually in other programs prior to coming to Mercy Education Project. They say Mercy feels like home, she said.
Since the project has started, they have helped over 200 women receive their GED, but Mercy's work doesn't end there. Many of the women have aspirations for going to college and/or a training program. Mercy helps them with that too, tailoring the program to help each woman reach their goal.
Typically there are eight to 20 or 24 students who will be graduate each year. Bell and Kathleen Ojeda, the lead adult education instructor at Mercy Education Project, joined Jason Carr in our studio Friday to talk about this year's graduates.
"We have 12 scheduled to graduate at the end of the summer and there could be another six," said Ojeda.
They also are not just helping the current students get their GED's they are preparing them for their future. "We are making sure they have their resumes, know how to do interviews and that they can have the scores that they need to be able to take college courses," said Bell.
You can learn more about the Mercy Education Project by searching the group online.