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Detroit College Access Network/Detroit Parent Network – January 2019 Update

Written by: Jametta Lilly, Chief Executive Officer, Detroit Parent Network and Ashley Johnson, Director, Detroit College Access Network

Our organizations, the Detroit College Access Network and Detroit Parent Network, are partnering to create a Family College-Career Drop-In Hub and mobile hubs as our NeighborHUB project. These hubs will connect Detroit parents and students to higher education, workforce development, skilled trades, on-the-job training, and other opportunities that lead to a postsecondary degree and increased income.

At this point in our grant period, we have just finished recruiting three paid Opportunity Navigators, or “ONs” for the program.

One of the greatest assets of our ONs is that they are from the same community as the people being served by our mobile hubs. Our recruitment efforts began with reaching out to our internal network of organizations such as New Paradigm in Education, Northwest Activities Center and DPN’s own member parents. Through our rigorous triad of training sessions, we culled our group of dedicated ONs to three with two volunteers. We are excited to eventually expand our reach to more networks and recruit via social media and word-of-mouth to build our cadre to at least 10 stipended ONs and five volunteers.

During the previously mentioned training sessions, we gathered valuable information. Our research has allowed us to learn from our Opportunity Navigators, staff, and community members and helped us make a viable wish list of technology, setting and furnishings we need to make the ideal Family College/Career Drop In Center. We are working to identify additional funds to bring to fruition the vision and goals that the NeighborHUB funding seeded.

Lastly, via the Chamber, DPN and DCAN are now part of a network of colleges, training programs and employer initiatives from which we can learn and contribute to their understanding that increasing postsecondary and economic development requires community involvement and expertise. We are delighted to be part of addressing this equation!