Navigator, serving Delta and Mott Community Colleges
Tracy Spilker is the Michigan Reconnect Navigator serving Mott Community College and Delta College. Tracy attended Mott Community College, graduating with honors, earning her Associate degree in General Studies. She went on to earn a Bachelor of Arts in General Psychology from the University of Michigan-Flint, followed by a Master of Science in Clinical-Behavioral Psychology from Eastern Michigan University with honors.
Her passion for helping people began with her time as a CHILL Facilitator at the YWCA of Greater Flint, where she taught anger management and conflict resolution skills to children of all ages at local schools, homeless shelters, the Boys and Girls Club, and juvenile detention center. She joined State of Michigan in 2007 as a welfare caseworker for MDHHS in Genesee County, later transferring over to CPS as an investigator. She then went on to serve as case manager for recipients of behavioral health services, before making her way back to State service as the Employment Counselor at Thumb Correctional Facility (TCF). There, she helped inmates increase their employability, and coordinated the prison’s Second Chance Pell Experimental Initiative college program with Mott. At TCF, she was also a member of the MDOC Re-entering Learners Task Force, conducted Vocational Counseling, CareerScope, WorkKeys, and GED testing, maintained Workforce Development portfolios, enrolled inmates in trades classes, guided them through the Financial Aid process, and helped resolve defaulted student loans to regain their eligibility for Financial Aid. The goal of the Second Chance Pell Experimental Initiative was to overturn Congress’s 1994 ban on prison inmates’ eligibility for Pell, by demonstrating the effect of education on employability, thereby reducing recidivism. That goal was achieved in December 2020 and is slated to take effect by July 2023.
The entirety of Tracy’s career has been directed towards guiding people to empower, educate, and stabilize themselves and their families to achieve self-sufficiency, prosperity, and well-being. She truly enjoys advocating for the people she works with and teaching them to successfully advocate for themselves as well. She is excited to be continuing this work with the Michigan Reconnect program.