The DTE Energy Foundation, through its partnership with the non-profit Michigan Hispanic Collaborative (MiHC), has donated $330,000 to Wayne State University’s Center for Latino/a and Latin American Studies (LAS). The money will fund scholarships for underrepresented students who are a part of MiHC and students pursuing Latino Studies at Wayne State.
“We’re excited because this fund will be able to continue to help students in perpetuity.” — Melissa Miranda Morse, LAS Assistant Director
MiHC was established in 2018 and aims to improve the economic strength of Hispanic communities in Southeast Michigan. Students participating in the MiHC program receive training from 11th grade through college. Together, MiHC and the DTE Energy Foundation will support students in Wayne State’s LAS programs.
“Last year was the first year that it was awarded last fall to students who received the award,” says Melissa Miranda Morse, the Assistant Director of LAS. “We’re excited because this fund will be able to continue to help students in perpetuity.”
LAS was created in 1971 as a part of grassroots community efforts to expand access to educational opportunities for low-income families. More than 2,000 students have participated in LAS programs since its inception 50 years ago, including several leaders and professionals throughout Detroit and Southeast Michigan.
“We help provide access for a student in Detroit and beyond of mostly first-generation and then help them with things like navigating the complex university environment and ultimately succeeding in college and beyond,” says Miranda-Morse.
The next round of DTE/MiHC scholarships will be awarded in the fall of 2021. Last year, two students received the funds, with the remaining money going into an endowment.
“We tell families ‘Don’t be discouraged — don’t rule out college, just because you feel that you can’t fund it or that you don’t know how to navigate this complex environment,’” says Miranda-Morse. “Students should reach out to our admissions department at Wayne State, or our organization center for Latino Latin American Studies.”