On the move

March 6, 2013

On the MoveCollege is an option.

That’s the message Ellen Judge-Gonzalez wants to reiterate to those experiencing socioeconomic challenges.

In an effort to encourage their pursuit of a post-secondary education, University of Michigan-Dearborn will host its annual “On the Move: College is an Option!” event, a free one-day college access workshop. The event will be held from 8:30 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. on March 14 at the university’s Fairlane Center North.

“On the Move offers both encouragement and practical advice for adults in the community seeking a pathway to begin or complete their college education,” said Judge-Gonzalez, coordinator of the event and director of UM-Dearborn’s Student Outreach and Academic Services (SOAR) Program. “For 15 years, this outreach effort has brought together area universities, community colleges and human service organizations with one common goal – to improve the lives of those in our metropolitan area who need it most through access to education.”

UM-Dearborn alumna Beverly Alexander, a division manager with the Detroit Recreation Department, will speak at the event. Alexander has the distinction of being the first graduate of SOAR, formerly known as “Women on the Move: College is an Option.” She also is a licensed and ordained minister who has devoted nearly 25 years working with high-risk girls and young women, inspiring them to overcome personal adversities.

Terrie Bishop, a recent UM-Dearborn graduate who also benefited from SOAR, will join Alexander. Bishop, who works for the Wayne County Prosecutor’s Office, will speak about the challenges and rewards of returning to school as a nontraditional learner.

Accompanied by volunteer mentors, participants can attend a college course and listen to a panel discussion of returning students who share their own college experiences. They also will receive information on how to apply for college, register for classes and apply for financial aid and scholarships. Representatives from local colleges, universities and community service organizations will staff informational tables.

The event is sponsored by UM-Dearborn’s Office of the Provost, Commission for Women and the American Association of University Women, Dearborn branch. Register online at www.casl.umd.umich.edu/om_participant or call the SOAR office at 313-593-3960. Those interested in volunteering can register online at www.casl.umd.umich.edu/om_mentor by March 11.

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