Active Grants & Community Projects


Academic Support Athlete Project
ASAP is a year-round mentor/tutoring program for Ypsilanti Community High School’s student athletes coordinated by Eastern Michigan University. Originally working with the Men’s Football teams, ASAP has expanded its services to all sports teams since its inception .  The primary goal of ASAP is to provide consistent near peer academic and personal support for YCS athletes as they work to balance sports and school. ASAP is ideal for those student athletes with GPA’s 2.0 or below. However, any in-season athlete or pre-season athlete is allowed to attend the tutoring sessions.

While there are many external service providers at YCS including: Bright Futures (a co-curricular club program) Upward Bound, and Gear UP there is not a program which provides direct tutoring support to ensure athlete eligibility and academic progress. (Note; Several athletes participate in WCC’s Summer Bridge, Upward Bound and Bright Futures pending on practice times, etc.)

EMU students are hired as academic tutors/mentors. The tutors are typically past athletes, first generation college students, and/or from a comparable community/school to that of Ypsilanti. Most importantly, the tutors have a passion for mentoring, facilitating teen groups, and experience in tutoring/teaching or education.

Are you an EMU student interested to work with ASAP? Email with your interest.

Bike Share
Engage EMU and Ypsilanti Housing Commission (New Parkridge community) submitted and received a Building Healthy Communities grant to the Washtenaw County Health Department. The grant will provide support to deliver a pilot bike sharing program to New Parkridge Housing residents, along with EMU students and faculty. The bike share program will provide an exercise and transportation option for these residents as well as local mobility to work, school, shopping and recreational fun. The bikes are kickstand-Bluetooth enabled models and do not require a permanent docking station.

Spin Bikes is the bike share company selected to provide the bikes and helmets, and will employ 1-2 part-time bike rebalancing ambassadors to handle repairs, storage, etc.

The grant runs from Dec 1, 2017 - September 30, 2018. The Washtenaw County Health Departments is the grant funder, with Engage and the Ypsilanti Housing Commission are contributing funders. If you are looking for more information, please contact Caroline Sanders, .

Ford Community Scholars Program
This year, Engage@EMU received two grants from the Ford Community Scholars Program . The program, in partnerships with universities, supports new initiatives for building sustainability and improving the quality of life of communities. Ford Community Corps program recognizes the scholastic achievement of students and promotes community engagement.

Ford Community Corps brings students together with local non-profit organizations.These collaborations create sustainable solutions. Thus, the program generates value for all organizations involved.

1. Alternatives for Girls and ADTY Graduate Students
Alternatives for Girls is an organization based out of Detroit that supports homeless and high-risk girls and young women. The organization not only gives resources and alternatives for girls and young women to avoid violence, teen pregnancy, or exploitation, but also allows this group to move forward with strength and positive goals. In the past 25 years, AFGs has served 105,000 girls, women, and family members. In 2017, 100% of age women graduated high school and went to higher education. These pivotal life shifts would not be possible without AFGs.

      1. EMU has the only Master of Fine Arts/MFA, a terminal program in Applied Theatre and Drama/Theatre for the Young (ADTY) in the region. Its cohort of students have both practicum course requirements (CTAR 671 and 672) and programmatic requirements to: develop and facilitate outreach and community programs, which incorporate drama/theatre and improvisation in transformative & impactful ways. Graduate students in the ADTY program are high school drama teachers, directors of education at professional/community theatres such as Mosaic Youth Theatre, Hazel Park Theatre, and Matrix Theatre, docents at Michigan Science Museum and the Charles H. Wright Museum, they are teaching artists working with with non-profits such as the Student Advocacy Center, Ozone House for Youth and Corner Health Center. They are trained to use drama and theatre as tools in education, to foster personal development and/or community.

        Eastern Michigan has the opportunity to work with this organization by MA and MFA graduate students in applied drama/theatre are focused on developing and implementing site-specific drama based programs which meet community needs and provide an educational laboratory for students to apply key concepts in educational theatre.

      2. We anticipate this project with Alternatives for Girls will serve as a catalyst for continued programming with both the ADTY graduate students and Engage@EMU. As with many of our programs we( Engage) seek a beginning to build a university and organizational relationship. More directly, we anticipate that Alternatives for Girls will continue to be a site for our graduate students to continue to do practicum work and co-create programming.

2. 826michigan and ASL Course: EDPS 322
EMU Teacher Education faculty member Dr. Iman Grewal, to work with 826michigan  (both the Ann Arbor and Detroit programs) in collaboration with 50 students in her EDPS 322 -Educational Psychology Course. This AS-L (Academic Service-Learning project) is designed to introduce these pre-service teaching students to developmental and learning theories within the context of race and poverty as the volunteer and service 826Michigan literacy labs.  

    1. This project is funded through the Ford Community Corps grant program which works to provide support for college students engaged in academic service and applied learning. For questions on this AS-L project contact Dr. Grewal at

    2. PBS Work
      Detroit Public TV - Engage EMU recently collaborated in two STEM related programs:

      1. Engage @ EMU, DPTV and Parkridge Community Center delivered the first PBS Family Creative Learning with the PBS Ruff Ruffman character program i n December 2017. This was an eight hour program for 5-8 year olds and their parents to learn and participate in STEM related projects.   At the end of the four, two hour sessions, students presented their projects to fellow participants and parents. Each student was gifted the tablet that they used during the program, which was pre-loaded with PBS creative learning television programming and games.

      2. EMU 21st CCLC Bright Futures partnered Detroit Public TV, to deliver a STEM based club using curriculum that featured the PBS character Ruff Ruffman to EMU Bright Futures' youth in November 2017. Youth from EMU's Bright Futures after school grant sites at Ford Early Learning Center and Holmes Elementary participated in the eight hours of curriculum, which presented them with a series of STEM related challenges faced by Ruff Ruffman. Each lesson featured an online video of Ruffman discussing a challenge he faced, a guided virtual experience on a tablet using the PBS app, and a hands-on application exercises where the youth applied the STEM concepts to solve challenges faced by Ruff. The PBS Ruff Ruffman experience then culminated with a student showcase, where 100% of participating students' families were in attendance!! This was a first for the programs facilitated by DPTV. The goal is to continue this relationship and further encourage STEM to young students.

      Caroline Sanders, Assistant Director of Community Relations (I) facilitated this opportunity for youth and families.  EMU Bright Futures' Site Coordinator Kate Gale delivered the curriculum and Beth Marshall of DPTV for training, materials, and support throughout the process.

Prevention Theatre Collective
This Collective is a theatre based peer to peer outreach program intended  to shift attitudes and behaviors concerning drugs and alcohol use for Washtenaw County high school students and communities. Recently, the instance of higher drug use and overdose for high school students has increased and become high risk for the communities. For the full Washtenaw County Public Health Opioid, visit their site here .

Through the development of site specific/original theatre, PTC works to improve the overall health and wellness both of Collective participants and audiences. The Prevention Theatre  teaches & uses interactive theatre techniques as a tool to cultivate a culture of awareness in and around the relationship between mental health and substance abuse. Prevention Theatre Collective has ensembles at Saline High School, Skyline High School and Community High School in Ann Arbor; where we partner with the school’s assigned counselor, preventionist/ interventionist, social workers, health education and/or theatre teacher to facilitate student created works. PTC employs MFA and MA Eastern Michigan Alumni who are trained in theatre and/or prevention skills. This program allows EMU to share the wealth of knowledge from the arts and extends its reach to nearby high school communities. PTC is funded through a grant from Community Mental Health Partnership of Southeast Michigan.

If you have any further questions please reach out to our Prevention Program Coordinator, Ariel Pompey at


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