College & Career Access Center
Quarterly Newsletter: 2nd Quarter 2021
The CCAC Closes Another Academic Year
As we close out this academic and fiscal year, the CCAC is proud to share the individual and collaborative successes of 2020-21. As always, we offer our heartfelt appreciation to our partners, stakeholders, students and their families - for your support and trust in these trying times. Our 8th year of service to Jackson’s 13 Connected Community Schools was marked, more than ever, by the collective impact of a community facing challenges together.
Despite the challenges and obstacles presented by the covid pandemic, we:
- met with 1024, or 79% of our graduating Seniors, providing 1:1 post-secondary advising sessions virtually or in person.
- hosted 54 college and career virtual or classroom workshops.
- provided Juniors Over the Local Circuit to every Junior in a modified virtual format.
- launched our Complete to Compete initiative, allowing students to compete for prizes and incentives for completing their college and career planning steps
- provided Decision Day Mini Grants to all 13 districts to celebrate their Seniors post-secondary plans.
On the community level we were able to:
- participate in advocacy on the state and national level, meeting with 7 State and Federal Representatives to discus college affordability and the importance of closing the college access and attainment gap for first generation students, low-income students, and students of color.
- develop a monthly Jackson County Virtual Workshop Series, covering important topics related to college and career planning - FAFSA Completion, Resume Construction, Career Mapping and more.
- launch new Student of the Month, College and Business of the Quarter, and a year long Equity, Diversity and Inclusion learning agenda.
- create the Jackson County Student Anti-Racism Coalition, forming an advisory council representing students from 13 districts that met monthly and covered the “21 Day Equity Challenge.
For the first time, the CCAC was able to gather and present:
- data snapshots that focus exclusively on students of color and low income students, demonstrating access and attainment trends ranging from 2011-2020.
- analysis of Tuition Incentive Program students' persistence and completion rates at Jackson College, including college completion rates for each district.
Meet the College & Career Access Center's Newest Additions
Tevin is a recent graduate of Spring Arbor University, where he received his Bachelor of Arts in Psychology. Previous to joining our team, Mr. Mojume served the Michigan Department of Transportation as a Youth Development Mentor. Megan received her Bachelor of Arts in Sociology from the University of Virginia and has developed a strong background in student success and career coaching. We are very excited that both advisors have immediately proven perfect fits within the CCAC team structure, approaching our Summer Outreach programs with positive, dynamic energy and bringing valuable talents to share with our students.
As we enter the 2021-22 academic year, we are confident that Tevin and Megan will add considerable value as they join our partners and serve the Seniors in our 13 Connected Community Schools.
This Summer, the College & Career Access Center will launch their new #CollegeGetItDone! Class of 2020 and 2021 initiative; re-engaging those students whose post-secondary plans were affected by the Covid-19 pandemic. Along with our traditional social media and canvassing efforts, the CCAC is hosting FAFSA Fridays, Mobile FAFSA Food Events with food trucks and prize incentives, and even an end-of-summer block party celebration. For chances to win a $500 award to kickstart your college & career goals, or just enjoy free food while planning your next college and career steps, pay a visit to the CCAC. Come Start Your Future!
The CCAC has also brought on a team of near peers to support the Summer of Getting it Done! - These motivated students are reaching out to their fellow graduates to share testimonials and encourage the Seniors of 2020 and 2021 to participate in our fun-filled Summer of planning festivities. Though we are early into our Summer Melt season, this powerhouse team has already made an impressive impact on the number of students we've been able to assist in meeting their college and career goals.
In 2019, the CCAC was able to add a career component to the college awareness curriculum. This was made possible by a grant from Dart Container Corporation and our collaboration with Willie Lewis, Director of Academic Student Connections at Spring Arbor University. Mr. Lewis is now Assistant Principal at Jackson High School. We have been fortunate to retain the robotics partnership with JPS, as well as My Brother's Keeper and Dream Maker/FIRST Robotics. We look forward to a Summer of robust programming with our new and existing partnerships in Jackson County.
The CCAC Quarterly Business Highlight
This quarter, the College and Career Access Center is proud to feature a local business we’ve had the pleasure of working with this year at a number of our Senior Decision Day events our Summer Mobile FAFSA events. Maria’s Sunnyside Café, originally owned by Maria Guerrero’s grandparents since 1974, has become a staple in Adrian, MI. Maria began working in the café as a young child, learning to make change and do her part to support the family owned business. She was excited to continue the rich tradition when she purchased the restaurant 9 years ago - adding her name to the legacy!
Since then, Maria has continued to provide an extremely popular food destination for locals and visitors alike. She has branched out with the help of her daughter, Teelah Dorsey, adding a food truck to their growing business model. They proudly boast the “Best Taco” title for the Best of Lenawee County and will undoubtedly add to these awards with their delicious variety of cuisine that has been perfected over more than 40 years. Maria’s strong work ethic and commitment to treating her staff like family has helped her weather the storm of Covid that closed many other food establishments. Even though times were challenging, Maria did everything she could to keep her restaurant open and ensure her family’s continued legacy for generations to come. She looks forward to having her daughter continue the family business and is helping her to open a second food truck with the Maria’s Sunnyside Café name. Ms. Guerrero states that owning your own business means, “believing in your product and loving a job that never feels like work!” The CCAC has been fortunate enough to have Maria’s food truck at a number of our events and will proudly partner with her next at our Mobile FAFSA Event on July 21st at the MLK Recreation Center. Look for Maria’s delicious food and infectious personality all Summer long!! http://mariassunnysidecafe.com/
Dating back to 1865, Juneteenth is the oldest commemoration of the end of slavery in the U.S. It was in that year, Union soldiers arrived in Galveston, Texas with news that the war had ended and that slaves were now free. This was two and a half years after President Lincoln’s Emancipation Proclamation. In the early years, celebration of Juneteenth gained very little recognition outside African American communities. The civil rights movement of the 1950s and 60s brought greater attention but it would still be approximately two decades later before the efforts of Al Edwards, an African American state legislator, led to Juneteenth becoming an official state holiday.
In 2020, the CCAC declared Juneteenth as an annual observance, closing our doors and allowing our advisors to spend the day reflecting upon the message and significance of all that Juneteenth represents. With a focus on African American freedom and achievement, the celebration also encourages continuous self-development and respect for all cultures. On June 18 2021, legislation was signed making Juneteenth a federal holiday - officially enshrining June 19th as the national day to commemorate the end of slavery in the United States. The College & Career Access Center is proud to celebrate this momentous legislation and participate in this important commemoration.