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  CONTACT: Jennifer Sroka
PHONE: (313) 593-5644
DATE: Jan. 16, 2003

Disadvantaged women to learn about college

DEARBORN---"Women on the Move-College is an Option!," a program that introduces the University of Michigan-Dearborn to socially and economically disadvantaged women receiving services through area non-profit agencies, has expanded into a two-day event to accommodate the demand of women interested in pursuing a post-secondary education.

This year, the program will be held from 8 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. on Thursday, March 20, and then again on Thursday, May 1 to accommodate the growing number of participants, who come from domestic violence shelters, social service agency referrals, and community referrals.

"The growing number of women who need to become financially independent is increasing tremendously," according to UM-Dearborn staff member Nancy Lemkie, who heads the Women on the Move committee. "The Women on the Move program offers the opportunity for women to see education as a means of independence. Each year the program grows, testifying to its importance to the community. Participants of the program repeatedly thank the community for their shared interest in helping women."

The program, which is in its sixth year, pairs volunteer mentors with metro Detroit women to learn about campus support groups and how other women deal with the challenges of returning to school. Accompanied by mentors, participants will learn how to apply to college, register for classes and apply for financial aid and scholarships. There will be panel discussions by returning women students from UM-Dearborn who will share their own college experiences.

Wayne County Circuit Judge Daphne Means Curtis and Beverly Coleman, project coordinator of the School as the Heart of the Community program in the Empowerment Zone of the Detroit Recreation Department, will be the keynote speakers for the March 20 event. Cylenthia LaToye Miller, director of Detroit's Employment and Training Department, will speak at the May 1 event.

A number of local service organizations will staff information tables at the events, including the Head Start Family Service Center, L.I.F.T. Women's Resource Center, Michigan Works-Detroit Workplace, Transition of Prisoners (TOP) Inc., Tri-Cities Tobacco Reduction Coalition, Ways to Work loan program, Post Release Opportunities for Vocation and Education (PROVE), and Women in Community Service (WICS).

Representatives from Henry Ford Community College, Madonna University, Schoolcraft College, UM-Dearborn, Washtenaw County Community College, and Wayne County Community College will provide information on higher education services.

The program is a collaboration among the Women's Studies Program and the Commission for Women at UM-Dearborn; United Way Community Services of Detroit; the Business Professional Women's Organization; and the American Association of University Women of Dearborn.

Early registration for both events begins February 1. Call (313) 593-5353 to register. For more information about the Women on the Move program, contact Lemkie at (313) 593-5553.




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