St. Vincent and Sarah Fisher Center Announces New Partnership Paradigm

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DETROIT, July 27, 2011 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ — There has been a great deal of focus upon the educational resources for Detroit’s children. However, there are older Detroiters that have been failed by the same systematic flaws, who are not receiving the same amount of dedicated support. As a result, these generations of adults, many of whom are the parents of the current school-age children, have been left unable to support their families.


Even those that stayed in high school were not necessarily given the tools to pass standardized educational tests and as a result, did not graduate. Crushing drop-out rates and the resulting lack of opportunities have made these “lost generations” unemployable.

Aware of the tremendous need for educational support in Detroit, the St. Vincent and Sarah Fisher Center has spent the last several years developing The Education Experience – an innovative and successful educational program that assists these adults with obtaining the skills and GED certification needed to seek more sustainable employment.

The Center is extremely pleased to announce the launch of a new paradigm in non-profit collaboration. In July 2011, The Education Experience launched personalized GED Tutoring services on the campus of its newest partner – Focus: HOPE.

Unlike other partnerships, where organizations refer clients to each other for services, this new paradigm is about physically bringing the services directly to the community that it serves. Rather than creating competing services, the organizations recognized that providing additional services on-site, through partnership, is more cost-effective for both organizations.

“This is a new world for non-profits. Needs are greater than ever and resources have been severely depleted. Which is why we are excited to work with such an outstanding partner. Focus: HOPE understands that collaborations are the key to surviving the future. Their dedication to the residents of Metro Detroit is well-known and inspirational,” said Diane Renaud, Executive Director/CEO of St. Vincent and Sarah Fisher Center.

“Our partnership with St. Vincent and Sarah Fisher Center will open opportunities to so many people whose options have been limited because they didn’t finish high school,” said William F. Jones, Jr., CEO of Focus: HOPE. “We are excited to offer GED classes on our campus and to provide the opportunity for these students to continue on to one of our workforce development programs, where they can train for a career. For most of these students, achieving their GED is the first step toward getting a job that pays a decent wage and will enable them to support themselves and their families.”

Students receive personal tutoring and mentoring through The Education Experience, which enables them to progress at their own pace. Those interested in enrolling in the GED program can call Focus: HOPE at 313.494.4300 or St. Vincent and Sarah Fisher Center at 313.535.9200.

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 programs.

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, services and locations, to better serve the community.

For more information, visit

Focus: HOPE is a nationally recognized civil and human rights organization based in Detroit that is committed to using “intelligent and practical action to overcome racism, poverty and injustice.” Its three main areas of focus are a food program, career training programs and community development initiatives. Through Focus: HOPE, thousands of individuals – especially women and minorities – have become financially independent. For more details, visit

Contact: Diane Renaud, (313) 535-9200,

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