Focus: HOPE Partners with Oakland Community College

DETROIT -- Focus: HOPE and Oakland Community College (OCC) officially partnered with the Detroit Regional Chamber to offer the "Steps for Success" program. William Jones, Jr., Focus: HOPE, CEO; Timothy Meyer, OCC Chancellor; and Greg Handel, Detroit Regional Chamber, Vice President Education and Talent, participated in the MOU signing.

"This program is designed to prepare and remediate students both academically and socially for successful post-secondary opportunities using targeted academic enrichment, support services and collaborative guidance," said Focus: HOPE CEO, William Jones Jr.

Steps for Success is funded by the Michigan Education Excellence Foundation and OCC. The dual enrollment program targets OCC students (current and new enrollees) and students within Focus: HOPE's reach who are interested in attending a community college and need an academic bridge to prepare them for that next step. Funded and developed as a pilot program, it assists incoming college freshmen to succeed by focusing on academic preparedness, college orientation, life skills, attendance, time management, study skills, attitude and teamwork.

"The Focus: HOPE team is excited to partner on the Steps for Success program and believes this collaboration will make a positive impact on students' ability to successfully pursue post-secondary opportunities," said Focus: HOPE Director of Workforce Development & Education, Rashida Thomas.

After successful completion of the first semester on Focus: HOPE's campus, students will transition to one of OCC's campuses to finish the coursework for their chosen career path. Working in conjunction with the counseling staff from OCC, the Focus: HOPE Student Success Coach/Case Manager will continue to support these students with on-site tutoring sessions and workshops as well as monthly coaching meetings. The goal is to promote continued student engagement, self-sustainability and overall student success. The follow-up activities are designed to gradually reduce Focus: HOPE's support while simultaneously increasing OCC's support.

"Student success and meeting community need are the core of what we do as an educational institution," said OCC Chancellor, Timothy Meyer. "With this partnership, we bring the strengths of our organizations together to support this community through educational and training efforts and the important life skills, self-confidence, hope and motivation students need to be successful and build hope toward the future of our community. "

About Focus: HOPE

Focus: HOPE is a nationally recognized civil and human rights organization founded in 1968 after the Detroit riots. Throughout the years, Focus: HOPE has developed numerous programs in its efforts to overcome racism, poverty and injustice, including food, career training and community development programs. Through Focus: HOPE, thousands of individuals – especially women and minorities – have achieved financial independence. For more information, visit

About OCC

With multi campus system throughout Oakland County, Oakland Community College offers degrees and certificates in approximately 100 career fields as well as university transfer degrees in business, science and liberal arts. The College provides academic and developmental experiences that allow each student to reach their full potential and enhance the diverse communities they serve. More than 45,000 students annually attend OCC and more than a million students have enrolled in the College since it opened in 1965. To learn more about OCC, visit


Media Contact: Bridget M. Kavanaugh | Marketing & Communications | (248) 341-2020 |