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Whitmer Awards One Million to Help Michigan Families Save for College

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

April 25, 2022

Contact: Press@michigan.gov

 

Gov. Whitmer Awards $1 Million to Help Michigan Families Save for College 

Battle Creek Community Foundation and Wayne Metro Community Action Agency each receive $500K grants to establish Children’s Savings Account pilot programs

LANSING, Mich. – Governor Gretchen Whitmer announced the award of $1 million to support two Children’s Savings Account (CSA) pilot programs, both in an urban and in a rural area, to Battle Creek Community Foundation and Wayne Metro Community Action Agency. Each organization will receive a $500K grant to establish Children’s Savings Account (CSA) pilot programs. 

“By investing $1 million into the Children’s Savings Account pilot program, we are expanding opportunities and improving outcomes for Michigan’s children," said Governor Whitmer. “Children’s savings accounts offer an exciting platform to help families build wealth and pay for educational expenses, including extracurricular activities that are critical to a child’s development. We will continue working with our philanthropic partners to build children’s saving account pilot programs in urban and rural regions of Michigan and keep finding ways to empower every Michigander to chase their potential.”

This announcement builds on the $1 million award earlier this year to the Community Economic Development Association of Michigan (CEDAM) who will develop a statewide children’s savings account program infrastructure to support the financial success for Michigan families. CEDAM will work with the Battle Creek Community Foundation and Wayne Metro Community Action Agency to support the state’s efforts to expand access to Children’s Savings Accounts. The two organizations will provide matching funds and are committed to offering a robust, high-quality CSA program tailored to meet the specific needs of the families and communities they serve.

“Battle Creek Community Foundation and Wayne Metro Community Action Agency have solid plans to execute the children’s savings account seed money through philanthropy and partnerships that will help Michigan families grow their future savings,” said Kim Trent, Poverty Task Force lead and Deputy Director Prosperity for the Department of Labor and Economic Opportunity.

Through this grant, the Battle Creek Community Foundation will create CSAs for the underserved school districts of Harper Creek Community Schools and Pennfield Schools, starting in kindergarten, for a goal of 360 CSA accounts. They will also create an endowment for additional cohorts to be added. 

“The Battle Creek College Access Network and the Battle Creek Community Foundation are very excited about this award. This opportunity will allow us to continue to grow a college-going culture in our community, particularly for those students who live in more rural school districts,” said Annette Chapman, Senior Vice President and Executive Director of Battle Creek College Access Network. “Encouraging students and their families to save for post-secondary education sends a message that college can be a reality. Knowing they have a community that supports them, believes in them and invests in them is also critical to their success. Thank you to the Michigan Department of Labor and Economic Opportunity!”

Wayne Metro Community Action Agency will create CSAs for all students enrolled in 14 Wayne Metro Head Start locations throughout Wayne County, as well as Renaissance Head Start and Urban Neighborhood Initiative’s out-of-school programs, for a goal of 1,600 CSA accounts.

“We are eager and excited to lead the ‘SEEDing for College’ pilot in partnership with Urban Neighborhood Initiatives and Renaissance Head Start,” said Angela Benifield, Assistant Director of Projects and Innovation Lab for Wayne Metropolitan Community Action Agency. “It has long been our dream to help Head Start families save for their children’s education. Thank you to the Michigan Department of Labor and Economic Opportunity for making our dream a reality!” 

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