The Wyandotte-Downriver branch of AAUW welcomed guest speaker Mary Barden, director of philanthropy for the College of Education at Wayne State University, at its November meeting, held at St. Thomas Episcopal Church in Trenton. Barden is an advocate for the Helping Individuals Go Higher (HIGH) program at WSU.
Though the assumption is that if you are homeless or poor, school isn’t a concern, Wayne State students in this situation know that education is the answer. Regardless of the hardships some must face, they are determined to graduate and contribute to the professional and social fabric of the tri-county area.
HIGH’s mission is to ensure that no student demonstrating promise abandons the dream of earning a degree at WSU solely because of housing or financial challenges. Sometimes a helping hand, a few dollars or consistent housing is the sole difference between a degree and dropping out.
Beneficiaries of the program, which was initiated in 2013 by Jacqueline Wilson, wife of the WSU president, are thoroughly and confidentially vetted. It is impressive that 100 percent of the beneficiaries of HIGH have attained a degree, and a remarkable 50 percent have continued on to grad school. Most of the beneficiaries of the awards are female African Americans in their senior year at WSU.
AAUW has a long and distinguished history of advancing educational opportunities for women in the United States and around the globe, enabling a broad community of women to gain access to educational and economic opportunities so that all women have a fair chance. To learn more about the organization, call (734) 626-2136, or by email at firstname.lastname@example.org.