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  CONTACT: Jennifer Sroka
PHONE: (313) 593-5644
DATE: March 8, 2004

'Women on the Move' program returns

DEARBORN---"Women on the Move-College is an Option!" a free program that introduces the University of Michigan-Dearborn to socially and economically disadvantaged women receiving services through area non-profit agencies, will be held Thursday, March 18 from 8:30 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. in the Social Sciences Building (formerly the School of Management Building).

"The growing number of women who need to become financially independent is increasing tremendously," according to Pamela McAuslan, co-director of the event. "The Women on the Move program offers the opportunity for women to see education as a means of independence. Each year the program grows, testifying to its importance to the community. Participants of the program repeatedly thank the community for their shared interest in helping women."

The program, which is in its seventh year, pairs volunteer mentors with metro Detroit women to learn about campus support groups and how other women deal with the challenges of returning to school. Accompanied by mentors, participants will learn how to apply to college, register for classes and apply for financial aid and scholarships. There will be panel discussions by returning women students from UM-Dearborn who will share their own college experiences.

Third Judicial Circuit Court referee Kelly Ramsey and Beverly Coleman, project coordinator of the School as the Heart of the Community program in the Empowerment Zone of the Detroit Recreation Department, will be the keynote speakers for the March 18 event.

A number of local service organizations will staff information tables at the event, including the Head Start Family Service Center, L.I.F.T. Women's Resource Center, Transition of Prisoners (TOP) Inc., Tri-Cities Tobacco Reduction Coalition, Post-Release Opportunities for Vocation and Education (PROVE), and Women in Community Service (WICS).

Representatives from Concordia College, Henry Ford Community College, Macomb County Community College, Madonna University, UM-Dearborn, Washtenaw County Community College, Wayne County Community College, and Wayne State University will provide information on higher education services.

The program is a collaboration among the Women's Studies Program and the Commission for Women at UM-Dearborn; United Way Community Services of Metropolitan Detroit; the Business Professional Women's Organization; the American Association of University Women of Dearborn; and numerous human service organizations in the area.

A second Women on the Move event will be held Thursday, May 13 on the UM-Dearborn campus.

For more information about the Women on the Move program, contact Patricia Schlaff, co-director of the program at (313) 593-5353 or McAuslan at (313) 593-5376.

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