St. Vincent and Sarah Fisher Center Receives Grant for GED Program

St. Vincent and Sarah Fisher Center Receives Grant for GED Program
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May 29, 2012 - PRLog -- May 29, 2012 - DETROIT, Mich.— St. Vincent and Sarah Fisher Center has received a very generous grant from The Dollar General’s Literacy Foundation. The Foundation awarded a $12,000 grant to provide funds for the organization’s GED completion program for adults. The Adult Education Experience at St. Vincent & Sarah Fisher Center is a free, personalized tutoring program that focuses on helping Detroit adults earn their GED and become more self-sufficient and contributing members of the community and economy.
“We are deeply grateful to Dollar General for their support – not only for their grant, but also for their strong commitment to organizations like ours that are working to make a difference for our community,” said Diane Renaud, Executive Director/CEO of the Center.
For three Detroit women, the St. Vincent and Sarah Fisher Center adult program has been an answer to their desire to pursue meaningful work.
Julie Rice of Detroit has a strong interest in becoming a paralegal, but not having a high school diploma held her back from her dream. When she learned her neighbor was attending GED classes at the Center, she decided to enroll in 2010. She successfully passed the GED test in January 2011 and has been accepted at Madonna University in Livonia where she plans to enter the paralegal program.
“I had made a vow to myself that I would move forward in my education and not having my GED was holding me back,” says Rice, who has years of retail work experience and currently works at a rental car company. “Being a paralegal combines all my passions. I love reading, writing. It’s the vehicle I’d like to elevate my career.”
Rice couldn’t be more complimentary of the Center’s program and staff. “I was not an easy student at the Center. I would get frustrated with math. But they kept working to keep me engaged. They do things in such a way to inspire and motivate you. It was an environment where there was no judgment about where you are. Everyone got the same respect and the same dignity.”
For two current Center students, earning their GED will be the path to achieving dreams of entrepreneurship.
Tanesha Sanders and Barbara Sullivan of Detroit both had taken segments of the GED test, but had not been able to successfully complete the entire test on their own. According to Renaud, when adults try to pass the GED on their own, only 25 percent of them pass it. However, 85 percent of adult students in the St. Vincent and Sarah Fisher Center program pass all five of the GED test segments on their first attempt.
Sullivan, a mother of two teens, says she likes the small class sizes and needs the one-on-one help that the Center’s tutors provide. The program also allows her to fit classes into her work and family schedule.
“I look forward to coming here. The staff is friendly, kind and caring. It makes you want to be here,” says Sullivan, whose goal is to pass the GED before year’s end and then pursue her dream of opening a bakery.
Sanders, a mother of five, hopes to use her GED to find a food service job at one of the Detroit casinos. Originally from Chicago, she worked at a nursing home as a supervisor and head cook. Her eventual goal is to open a Chicago style restaurant in Detroit.
Strengthening her math and English skills has been Sanders’ focus at the Center. “You get the education you need. I like the tutor system.”
For the Center’s CEO Renaud, the dreams she sees in students like Rice, Sullivan and Sanders represent not only opportunities for each individual, but opportunities for the entire community. “Passing the GED allows adults to go on to college and even qualify for scholarships or enroll in vocational training. In urban centers where low high school graduation rates are affecting the economic stability of a community, the GED is a path to better-paying jobs to help adults become contributing members of their families and communities,” said Renaud.

The grant awards come on the good news that the Center was recently featured in the Detroit Free Press 2012 Summer Dreams section, published earlier this month. Renaud was also a guest on the CW50 community affairs TV show Street Beat.
Volunteers are welcome and needed for many programs. Call (313) 535-9200 if you are interested in becoming a volunteer.

Founded in 1844, the St. Vincent and Sarah Fisher Center most recently served Southeastern Michigan as a residential/foster care agency for children. However, in 2006, the Center closed its residential campus due to elimination of funding. It was determined that rather than close the doors of the organization, to return to its roots – providing assistance to the residents of the community through educational program.

St. Vincent and Sarah Fisher Center moved to Detroit to continue nearly 170 years of service to the community through basic skill-building and academic enhancement for at-risk children and adults. These programs are designed to help build self-sufficiency skills for academic and employment success, personal achievement and dignity.  In March 2011, The Education Experience was launched, with expanded hours and programs, to better serve the community. For more information, visit

The St. Vincent and Sarah Fisher Center
16800 Trinity St.
Detroit, MI 48219
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