Flint officials issue more water shut-off notices
FLINT, MI. —More residents face shutoffs for overdue water bill accounts in Flint.

According to a March 30, 2017 press release from City of Flint Spokeswoman Kristin Moore, 31 residents have been identified where no payment has been made in at least 15 months resulting in balances between $2,030 to $5,653 past due.

“By law, the City of Flint is required to collect payment from customers receiving water and sewer services,” said Flint’s Interim Chief Financial Officer, David Sabuda. “Sewer services have not been affected by the water crisis and tests show the quality of water in Flint has improved. We need to show the state that our residents are paying for services the city is providing. Too many uncollected bills for the water and sewer funds will create more financial hardships for the City as we work to move forward.”

City officials visited homes on Thursday, March 30, 2017  to leave shut-off that water services will be discontinued the week of April 10, 2017. They are also leaving information packets giving customers instructions on how to prevent shutoffs including making payment arrangements.

“I continue to look for ways to right the wrongs that have been done and that led to the water crisis,” said Mayor Karen Weaver. “We are working to get some assistance for those who really can’t afford to pay their utility bills. I hope to have more information about that soon. In the meantime, the City needs residents who can pay to pay what they can.”

Officials are asking both residential and commercial customers to pay their current bills and at least 10 percent of their past due balances.

Residents who obtain assistance with their accounts must call the Customer Service Center and provide their case worker’s name so the account can be removed from the shut-off list.

The packet provided also includes contact information of agencies and organizations that people with severe financial challenges can turn to for help making their minimum payment due.

Customers with financial hardships who need help paying their water/sewer bill are also urged to call the Customer Service Center at (810) 766-7015, or visit Flint City Hall to discuss payment options with a representative.

Flint pastor charged with defrauding retirees, members

Washington D.C. — The Securities and Exchange Commission today announced fraud charges and an emergency asset freeze obtained against Flint pastor Larry Holley of Abundant Life Ministries for allegedly exploiting church members, retirees, and laid-off auto workers who were misled to believe they were investing in a successful real estate business.

The SEC alleges that Holley cloaked his solicitations in faith-based rhetoric, replete with references to scripture and biblical figures.  Holley allegedly told prospective investors that as a person who “prayed for your children,” he was more trustworthy than a ”banker” with their money.  According to the SEC’s complaint, Holley held financial presentations masked as ”Blessed Life Conferences” at churches nationwide during which he asked congregants to fill out cards detailing their financial holdings, and he promised to pray over the cards and invited attendees to have one-on-one consultations with his team.  He allegedly called his investors ”millionaires in the making.”

According to the SEC’s complaint, which also charges Holley’s company Treasure Enterprise LLC and his business associate Patricia Enright Gray, approximately $6.7 million was raised from more than 80 investors who were guaranteed high returns and told they were investing in a profitable real estate company with hundreds of residential and commercial properties.

According to the complaint, Gray advertised on a religious radio station based in Flint and singled out recently laid-off auto workers with severance packages to consult her for a ”financial increase.”  Gray allegedly promised to roll over investors’ retirement funds into tax-advantaged Individual Retirement Accounts (IRAs) and invest them in Treasure Enterprise.  The SEC alleges that no investor funds were deposited into IRAs, and Treasure Enterprise struggled to generate enough revenue from its real estate investments to support the business and make payments owed to investors.  Treasure Enterprise owes investors an estimated $1.9 million in past due payments, according to the SEC’s complaint.

”As alleged in our complaint, Holley and Gray targeted the retirement savings of churchgoers, building a bond of trust purportedly based on faith but actually based on false promises,” said David Glockner, Director of the SEC’s Chicago Regional Office.

According to the SEC’s complaint, Holley, Gray, and Treasure Enterprise were not registered to sell investments.  The SEC encourages investors to check the background of anyone offering to sell them investments by doing a quick search on the SEC’s investor.gov website.

The SEC has obtained a temporary restraining order in U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Michigan that freezes the assets of Holley, Gray, and Treasure Enterprise.  The court’s order also appoints a receiver and imposes other emergency relief.

The SEC’s complaint alleges violations of Sections 5(a), 5(c), and 17(a) of the Securities Act of 1933 and Sections 10(b) and 20(a) of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934 and Rule 10b-5.  The complaint seeks disgorgement of ill-gotten gains plus interest, penalties, and permanent injunctions.

The SEC’s investigation, which is continuing, is being conducted by Ana P. Doncic, Delia L. Helpingstine, and Sruthi Koneru of the Chicago office.  The case is being supervised by Steven L. Klawans, and the litigation is being led by Jonathan S. Polish.

Video: What’s next for replacing lead pipes in Flint?

FLINT, MI — Flint officials announced during a March 29, 2017 press conference at city hall that they are ready to start the fourth phase of Mayor Karen Weaver’s program to replace pipes in Flint. Crews are set to start mid April with the infrastructure replacement after a group of AARP volunteers and CORE workers start to get permission to gain access to homes to replace lead lines.

Officials plan to replace infrastructure at 6,000 homes this year under Weaver’s FAST Start program. So far, lead lines at 960 homes have been replaced.

More information about the FAST Start program will be available on the initiative’s new social media accounts and the program’s official website here.

Things you should know

There are plans to replace service lines at 6,000 Flint homes in 2017.
The project is broken up into 10 zones of 600 homes each.
Contractors are expected to replace lines at four homes per day.
Residents must have an active Flint water account for service line replacement.
The homeowner/property owner must give permission to replace the service line.
Someone 18 years old or older must be at the home while service lines are being replaced.
As part of the pipe replacement program, your water may be tested.
Your water will be shut off for a period of four to 24 hours while the line is being replaced.
Contractors will flush the water in your home for 15 minutes after the pipe has been replaced.
All turf areas disturbed by the service line replacement will be seeded and mulched as soon as practicable.

Sneaker boutique holds Air Jordan I Retro High “Royal” fundraiser to raise money for Flint water crisis

HUNTINGTON, NY – There are two things Chase Ceparano knew when he was growing up.

(Photo Courtesy of Rise45.com)

He would escape poverty and he would give back.

Those reasons have fueled his desire to raise money and awareness for Flint’s water crisis even if it’s from his sneaker boutique in Huntington, NY.

“Everything that my team and I have done, I believe that it’s for the greater good,” said Ceparano, co-owner of RISE, a New York based sneaker boutique. “As a child I grew up very poor. I swore to myself on a personal level that when I came outta of it I would do better than what was given to me.”

The team at RISE launched an online raffle to help encourage people to donate to Flint’s crisis while getting a leg up on others wanting the new Air Jordan 1 Retro High “Royal” gym shoes set to debut April 1, 2017.

For each minimum donation of $10 participants get 10 raffle tickets to be one of the first people to get their hands on a pair of the shoes for $160 a pair.

In September 2016 it was discovered that children in Flint had elevated blood lead levels after the city switched from using Detroit for their water supply to using the Flint River.

“It’s 2017 and the mere fact that there’s a community in the United States of America where kids do not have access to clean water, it’s mind boggling,” said Ceparano. “We may not be able to do a lot but we can do something. It helps raise awareness and in the end maybe others can come together to do something bigger. The vision is clear. There’s something good that’s going to come from that alone.”

RISE has 24 pair of shoes in a variety of sizes that are part of the raffle. All proceeds will be sent to the Foundation for Flint for the Flint Child Health and Development Fund.

Ceparano said he reached out to StockX, a Detroit-based company where buyers place bids on gym shoes, to find out where to send the donations.

“I do have to give credit to StockX,” Ceparano said. “They connected us with the Foundation and donated $1,000 to the campaign.”

As of March 29, 2017 they had raised an estimated $6,000 for Flint.

Winners will be selected randomly between 5 and 6 p.m. on Friday, March 31, 2017. RISE will contact the winners with instructions on how to complete their purchase.

To find out more information or to enter the raffle click here.


RISE for Flint – Air Jordan 1 Retro High “Royal” Online Charity Raffle

In an effort to assist in the ongoing water crisis in Flint, RISE has teamed with the Foundation for Flint to raise money for the Flint Child Health and Development Fund.

All donations raised via this campaign will go directly to the fund and aid children with interventions that support positive outcomes now and into the future. Through this online charity raffle a total of 24 pairs of the Men’s Air Jordan 1 Retro High “Royal” will be made available for purchase on Saturday, April 1st 2017.


Available sizes will be Men’s US 8 – 12, 13.
Please include the desired Men’s US shoe size in the comment field displayed in the donation area.

Each dollar donated via this campaign will earn the donor 1 raffle entry. For example, a $10 donation earns 10 raffle entires, a $25 donation earns 25 raffle entires. There is a $10 minimum donation and NO maximum donation limit.

The donation period opens on Saturday, March 25th at 4PM EST and closes on Friday, March 31st at 5PM EST.

Winners will be selected at random between 5PM – 6PM EST on Friday, March 31st 2017 and contacted by RISE with instructions on how to complete their purchase. The purchase price will be $160USD, plus tax and/or shipping, where applicable.

Crowdrise accepts donations using Visa, Mastercard or American Express. Crowdrise does not accept Paypal.

All donations made through Crowdrise are 100% tax-deductible, to the extent allowed by law. Donors will automatically receive an email receipt that meets the IRS requirements for a record of donation.

To participate, click here  >>>  RISE for Flint Online Charity Raffle

Treats, no tricks offered at horror-themed event at the Flint Farmers’ Market
FLINT, MI – Looking for something to send a chill down your spine this weekend? Look no further than the Flint Farmers’ Market.

The Flint Horror Collective is hosting the April Ghoul’s Day event with more than 20 authors on April 1 from noon until 4 p.m. in the Flint Farmers’ Market Community Room. The event is a celebration of all books both weird and wonderful highlighting local talent.

Patrons will have the opportunity to browse dozens of books, speak with the authors, and become inspired by writers who have turned their passions into a reality.

As if the promise of spine-chilling page-turners wasn’t enough, renowned paranormal lecturer and investigator John E.L. Tenney will be giving a Weird Lecture at 3 p.m. Tenney’s lectures are a look behind the curtain of the world of the paranormal, along with its myths, lies, and terrifying truths. Tenney has also recently starred on paranormal television shows including Paranormal State: The New Class and Ghost Stalkers.

“We’re really excited to bring so many talented authors into Flint so they can share their passion with everyone,” said Flint Horror Collective and event organizer Chris Ringler. “The authors aren’t the only fun though and anyone interested in the paranormal won’t want to miss John Tenney’s Weird Lecture at 3 p.m., sure to give you a shiver!”

April Ghoul’s Day is a free event that will be fun for the entire family with books available for even the youngest of monsters.

Kettering University faculty member drives partnership with Flint Institute of Music
FLINT, MI — Dr. Laura Sullivan, professor of Mechanical Engineering, was moved by a single mother’s attempts to solicit help from physicians for her teenage daughter Kennedy’s struggle with asthma.

Sullivan took the activist’s pursuit to heart and reached out to individuals in the medical community to discover potential efforts to help Kennedy.

Amy Allison ’15 meets with Kennedy at the Flint Farmer’s Market. (Photo courtesy of Kettering University)

“I was having conversations with a friend who had scoliosis about the idea of developing better lung capacity,” Sullivan said. “I asked some of the physicians I spent time with if wind instruments would have the same benefit for people with asthma and they all said it would be a great exercise. They all said it would be a great thing for anyone with asthma to do.”

Driven to help, Sullivan solicited assistance from a select group of friends on Facebook. She was hoping for a donation of a wind instrument for Kennedy. Within days, she received multiple commitments.

Amy Allison ‘15 was of the first responders to Sullivan’s request.

“Dr. Sullivan spearheaded this charity and she sent me a personal message and I knew I wanted to get involved,” Allison said.”I played the saxophone and clarinet when I was younger and I hadn’t played them since high school so I donated my clarinet.”

Starting from a single donation to one Flint resident, Sullivan has partnered with the Flint Institute of Music to launch “Kennedy’s Breath” — a program designed to introduce Flint children to the power of music for the purpose of healing.

Since its inception last year, Sullivan has personally raised over $2,000 to support the program. Children in Flint hoping to be more engaged with music can now receive a free instrument and lessons at the Flint Institute of Music through Kennedy’s Breath.

“We have to find ways to give Flint residents tools to have a control and decision-making over their progress. We have to find ways to bring residents healing without dictating it,” Sullivan said. “It’s about entrusting the future to the many and giving them the tools to take care of it.”

In Kennedy’s case, music is a tool to combat asthma. However, music can be more than that. It can empower children with values and skills that can be applied to multiple facets of life including the current challenges in Flint.

Allison had the opportunity to provide Kennedy an introductory lesson on the clarinet. In their meeting, Allison instructed Kennedy on how to assemble, play and care for the instrument.

“As soon as Kennedy had the clarinet, she was was whaling on it,” Allison said. “She was having so much fun. She loved it. Her mother followed up with us on Facebook and told us that she was playing it for the next few days. She found her passion and it’s the clarinet.”

The next time Allison visits with Kennedy will be her first clarinet recital in spring 2017.

“I’m hoping to cheer her on from the sidelines,” Allison said. “I want her to know that there are people out there who are rooting for her and on her side.”

Individuals interested in donating an instrument for the program can do so in person at the Flint Institute of Music (1025 E Kearsley St, Flint, MI). For other ways to get involved, please contact Dr. Laura Sullivan at lsulliva@kettering.edu or Jan Hartranft at jhartranft@thefim.org.

Written By Pardeep Toor | Contact: Pardeep Toor – ptoor@kettering.edu – (800) 955-4464 ext. 5970

Flint & Genesee Chamber’s Annual Meeting Highlights 2016 Results and ‘2020: Building the Future’
2016 Annual Report, ‘2020: Building the Future’

The future of Flint and Genesee County depends greatly on the investments made yesterday, today and tomorrow. And based on the returns thus far, the outlook for a thriving 21st century urban center in the next few years is very promising.

That’s because the Flint area is “comprised of forward thinkers and doers,” said Chamber CEO Tim Herman, to more than 400 guests in attendance today at the Holiday Inn Gateway Centre.

“We have a clear vision of what can be accomplished leading up to the year 2020,” Herman said. “And there are a lot of good, smart people working to make our vision a reality over the next three years.”

The Chamber’s 2017 Annual Meeting also featured a panel discussion that addressed three areas – Flint & Genesee County Today; Models to Follow; and Flint & Genesee Tomorrow. The panelists were: Dr. Beverly Walker-Griffea, President, Mott Community College; Bob Waun, CEO, C3 Ventures Flint, LLC; Eric Larson, CEO, Downtown Detroit Partnership; and Will McClure, Jr., a student at Michigan State University College of Human Medicine.

In addition, Steve Landaal, President of Landaal Packaging, was elected Chair of the Flint & Genesee Chamber’s Operating Board of Directors for a one-year term. He replaced Past Chair Robert Rummel, Senior Vice President at Chase.

Before detailing the Chamber’s accomplishments from the past year, Herman shared several data points as evidence of the region’s momentum, including:

  • Overall total wage growth increased 24.8 percent from 2010-2015.
  • Genesee County unemployment rate was down to 5 percent in December 2016 from 5.8 percent the previous year.
  • Home prices rose 3.26 percent in 2016 over 2015.

“In 2016, Flint and Genesee County continued to make forward progress on important measures, despite some of the challenges we faced,” Herman said. “When you look at

the numbers – not only in 2016 – but over the past five years, it’s clear that Flint-area businesses are growing, expanding their workforce and painting a clear picture that the region is moving forward.”

Following are 2016 accomplishments directly related to the Chamber’s economic development, tourism and education efforts, and other programs and services:

  • Supported more than $503 million of total investment and contract value
    • 21 investment projects generated an estimated $127 million in annual payroll
    • 1,708 jobs created and retained
    • 20 retention/expansion investment projects and 1 attraction investment projects in Genesee County
  • 1,219 government contracts won with assistance from the Chamber’s Procurement and Technical Assistance Center (PTAC) and 511 companies counseled
  • Over $131 million in tourism economic impact due to overnight hotel room rentals in Genesee County
    • Lodging revenue rose 7.8 percent with occupancy at 54.3 percent
  • Served 2,569 students through 61 career prep workshops
  • Graduated 401 students from the TeenQuest leadership and pre-employment training program
  • Hired 569 teens through the Summer Youth Initiative (SYI) Job Fair
  • Served 3,378 students in county elementary and middle schools through YouthQuest
  • Conducted 146 workshops, which served 4,614 firms and trained 8,073 employees
  • 19,641 individuals attended 142 member events

Landaal said the Chamber and region made significant strides in 2016.

“But not only is it important to look in our rearview mirror regularly, it’s equally, if not more important to look ahead,” said Landaal.

A copy of the Chamber’s Annual Report is available online at flintandgenesee.org.

(Article Courtesy of the Flint & Genesee County Chamber of Commerce.)

A theatre like none other: ‘New’ McCree Theatre brings art, opportunity to Flint’s northside

FLINT, MI — It is authentic.

It is strong, filled with talent, and inspiring generation after generation of artists.

It is home to the African American story in the African American voice.

It is the “New” McCree Theatre, located on the northside of Flint, and it is unlike any other in the state of Michigan.

At the heart of the theatre is Charles Winfrey. Behind the scenes, at the box office, introducing productions and sometimes writing them, the 74-year-old is on his second stint with the theatre.

See, this is the “New” McCree Theatre—because this is the theatre’s second life cycle.

The McCree Theatre first came to life in 1970, funded initially as part of the Model Cities Program and then Community Development Block Grants.

Famed Flint artist Lavarne Ross was one of the founding members of the McCree Theatre, even personally choosing the name to honor Mayor Floyd McCree, the first popularly elected black mayor of a large city since Reconstruction.

One of his paintings hangs in the hall just outside the theatre, by the gymnasium and the occasional school announcements that make their way into the theatre area.

“I hope it continues to grow and provide what our community needs. We need to see our talent. We need to know we are needed. The African American community in Flint, we need it,” Ross says.

Then the equipment started disappearing and funding slowly dried up, until finally the theatre waned, taking a 15-year hiatus until 2004, when it came back—“New”—and determined to establish a more secure funding stream.

After 13 years, it is still “New” and always will be.

Winfrey was the first and remains the only executive director the “New” McCree Theatre.  The theatre has had several homes over the years, but always it’s own dedicated stage and always on the northside of Flint.

“There is such a definite void on this side of town,” Winfrey says.

Now located at New Standard Academy, the charter school that operates in the former Powers Catholic High School on Carpenter Road, the 380-seat theatre features red cushioned seats, room to add another 20 seats for larger productions, and fully equipped sound and lighting systems.

The theatre has four productions a year and is in a near-constant cycle of auditions, casting, workshops, rehearsals, and performances.  There are generally about 30 people in each cast and about seven paid contract employees including choreographers, music director, director and technician, and set design.

It borrows occasionally from other area theatres including the University of Michigan-Flint’s theatre department and Flint Community Players to round out set and costume needs.

“It’s all about rejoicing in the talent that is so pinnacle in the Flint area,” Winfrey says.

Typically three of the four shows a year are musicals. Casts generally put in 15 hours a week, 40 weeks of the year. The theatre has provided an opportunity for art, expression, and growth for generations.

“Watching raw talent come up on stage and watching it blossom and be heard—there is just great joy in that. Each production becomes a family,” Winfrey says.

Born in Mississippi and raised in Flint, his family moved here “like everyone else” for General Motors jobs and the promise of factory jobs.

Winfrey grew up in the St. John Street neighborhood and in the 1960s was a leader of the Black Student Union at Mott Community College. He went on to earn a degree in Africana Studies and political science from the University of Michigan-Flint.

He also became a behind the scenes political leader, especially during Mayor Woodrow Stanley’s terms.  And, that might be one reason why Winfrey knows so many people.

He laughs off the suggestion, though, saying simply, “I’ve been around a long time.”

Winfrey is a passionate man who chooses his words cautiously, meaningfully. And, he won’t shy away from telling exactly what he thinks.

And, let there be no mistake, Winfrey says, theatre is a two-way street. It gives to the community, but it also needs—and deserves—the community’s support. More than anything else, Winfrey needs one thing for “New” McCree Theatre’s continued success:

“Butts in the seats.”

Winfrey would love to see the theatre grow, to create a touring show that could go to other underserved areas of the state of Michigan, perhaps even to other states, creating a new avenue for both performers and audience goers to see and experience the African-American story.

He dreams of a theatre production that could provide even more nurturing for the area’s talent, taking them to New York and meeting with professional actors to build their skills.

That’s a dream, and Winfrey shrugs a little bit as he describes it. It’s a dream, but it doesn’t distract from the important work he wants to continue doing right here, in his hometown, with this community and for this community.

You see, the “New” McCree Theatre is a constant driving force. There’s never too much of a break to stop and daydream about what could be, because there is so much that already is.

It is a constant churn.

“Detroit ’67” wrapped up Feb. 18. Auditions for  “Needle in a Haystack: The Story of the Velvelettes” just finished and the workshops start March 20. The show runs May 4-27.

And, the 2017-18 season will be announced in April.

Through it all, Winfrey pours his heart and mind into the theatre. He has written about 14 of the theatre’s productions, including the upcoming show based on the true story of two cousins from Flint who joined with two sisters from Kalamazoo to become one of Motown’s longest lasting girl group acts.

He digs through local history, consults other historians and conducts interviews as part of the research for his plays. Then he uses the chronology of events and his imagination to build his scripts.

Asked how and why he does all this, Winfrey answers, with his typical shrug of the shoulders.

“Well, you know, there are 24 hours in a day … let’s create something beautiful,” Winfrey said.

For ticket purchases and show times, see TheNewMcCreeTheatre.com.

(Article courtesy of Flintside.com)

Man who called Flint’s mayor a ‘Black Racist’ says he doesn’t want any trouble
ROSEVILLE, MI – The man behind a postcard sent to Mayor Karen Weaver says he only wrote it after he disagreed with comments he says she made about President Donald Trump.

“I was upset about it and when I hear someone being mean to someone else I have to do something about it,” said Edward “Eddie” Stocker.

Stocker sent a postcard to Weaver calling her a “Black Racist” “Karen (Numb Nuts) Weaver.” That postcard later became evidence in a personal protection order against a man trying to remove her from office.

“Racism is alive and Well Because of Black Racist Like You,” read the postcard postmarked March 7, 2017. “If You Have any Complaints – GET on Your Knees and Talk To THE Boss! Quit Your Complaining and Quit Your Whining.”

Weaver attached the postcard to a petition she filed on March 21, 2017 with the Genesee County Personal Protection office against Flint resident Arthur Woodson.

Woodson filed recall language against Weaver on Feb. 24, 2017 over Flint’s controversial trash dispute. His language was approved on March 8, 2017.

In a statement attached to the petition, Weaver said she believed the postcard came from Woodson and that Flint police investigated the issue but failed to find the person behind the postcard.

“On March 17, 2017 I received a postcard via US mail what I considered to be a threat to me and every person of color in the Mayor’s office,” wrote Weaver. “The Flint Police Officers attempted to conduct an investigation on the sender’s identification but were unsuccessful.”

Stocker, an 85-year-old Korean War Veteran living in Roseville, Mich., says he doesn’t know Woodson nor was he aware of recall efforts to remove Weaver from office.

“I don’t want the mayor recalled,” said Stocker. “Tell her that I don’t want to cause this guy any trouble. I don’t know him. I don’t want to back him up or anything.”

Weaver’s petition calls for a number of restrictions including Woodson being prohibited from appearing at Flint City Hall and having any contact with the mayor in person, electronically or by phone.

She has until 9:30 a.m. Monday, March 27, 2017 to filed a motion to be heard by the court.

Kettering University partners with Flint Police Activities League for after-school tutoring program
FLINT, MI — Kettering University is partnering with the Flint Police Activities League (PAL) to provide after-school tutoring and mentoring opportunities on campus for middle school students.

The program is a part of the Environmental Protection Agency’s College/Underserved Community Partnership Program (CUPP).

“I think all of us have been thinking about it for a long time,” said Dr. Laura Miller-Purrenhage, professor in the Liberal Studies department at Kettering. “This program has been identified and requested by the community. It’s community-driven, not Kettering-driven.”

Miller-Purrenhage is Kettering’s lead organizer for the program. She’s partnering with Brian Willingham, executive director of Flint PAL. Willingham took over PAL in spring 2016 and is looking to expand the offerings of the program.

“PAL is traditionally a sports-oriented program,” Willingham said. “We want to start looking at opportunities outside of sports including academics, literacy, job training and nutrition. We want to create more holistic development opportunities for inner city youth in Flint.”

The partnership with Kettering will provide academic opportunities for students in fifth to eighth grades to hone and reinforce their mathematics skills. Dr. Leszek Gawarecki, department head of Mathematics at Kettering, will provide instruction for approximately 30 PAL students once a week. The program at Kettering will be run year round. Gawarecki will focus on teaching pre-algebra, geometry and other identified areas of need that evolve during the course of the program.

In addition to the academic learning opportunities, this program will invite PAL students on campus which exposes them to a collegiate atmosphere, enhanced classroom technologies and provides them with access to Kettering faculty and students.

“We believe all of that exposure is going to be a growth opportunity for our students and could spark future engineers from the ranks of our children,” Willingham said.

Kettering students will become mentors and tutors in the program which will further enhance opportunities for PAL students.

This program complements Kettering’s community redevelopment and engagement efforts in Flint. Kettering has been a leader in the redevelopment of the University Avenue Corridor that connects campus to downtown Flint, provided a state-of-the-art work space for area FIRST Robotics teams, and is creating an autonomous proving ground at the former Chevy in the Hole site.

“I hope that we will continue to cement a trusting relationship between Kettering and the community,” Miller-Purrenhage said.

Willingham believes that finding the next star in math and science is no different than finding the next LeBron James on the basketball court. The principles are the same. It’s about connecting talent with hard work and exposure.

“I think there are future doctors and scientists and engineers in this group of students,” Willingham said. “If we don’t expose them to the potential of math and science, they might get left behind. If we expose them – if we ignite a flame in a child – then they have the potential of doing something great.”

Written By Pardeep Toor | Contact: Pardeep Toor – ptoor@kettering.edu – (800) 955-4464 ext. 5970