Jimmy and Rosalynn Carter Partnership Foundation awards grant to Eastern Michigan University public relations student
YPSILANTI - Kimberly Buchholz, an Eastern Michigan University public relations major, has won a Carter Academic-Service Entrepreneur grant through the Jimmy and Rosalynn Carter Partnership Foundation to promote Toys for ‘Tweens & Teens. The program is an EMU student-initiated, student-administered nonprofit which serves foster care youths.
The $1,500 grant, sponsored by the W.K. Kellogg Foundation in association with the Michigan Campus Compact, is awarded to an academic-service learning project representing the most innovative and promising use of the grant to establish or significantly further a partnership with a community nonprofit organization.
Toys for ‘Tweens & Teens is a holiday gift-giving initiative serving area foster care youths through high school graduation. The effort seeks to reduce high school dropout rates and to promote higher learning beyond high school graduation. In addition to gift giving, the program includes on-campus events designed to help youths visualize themselves in a college setting.
The organization’s nonprofit partner is Lutheran Social Services of Michigan, the state’s largest provider of foster care services, serving up to 800 youths each day.
The initiative was conceived and launched under the support and guidance of Melissa Motschall, EMU public relations professor, and hosted by the Eleanor Wright Chapter of the Public Relations Student Society of America (PRSSA) at EMU.
“Receiving this grant is a validation of the time, energy and commitment our volunteers and supporters have put forth to carry out our mission to extend a welcoming hand to foster care youths,” Buchholz said. “We want these kids to know there is a place for them in higher learning after high school graduation and this grant will help further that effort.”
In an effort to expand the Toys for ‘Tweens & Teens program nationwide. Buchholz plans to promote the initiative among PRSSA chapters at other universities during an annual conference to be held in Detroit this fall.
“College students are perfectly suited for reaching out to these kids who might not have anyone in their lives showing them what a great opportunity a college education can be,” Buchholz said. “We want that to be the voice of encouragement.”
Buchholz is a resident of Michigan Center, near Jackson, Mich.
Eastern Michigan University is a public, comprehensive university that offers programs in the arts, sciences and professions. EMU prepares students with the intellectual skills and practical experiences to succeed in their career and lives, and to be better citizens.
Editor's Note: Looking for an expert source for a story? Check out EMU's Eastern Experts online at www.emich.edu/univcomm/easternexperts.