Wednesday, September 7, 2016

MSFAA Early Awareness and Multicultural Outreach Activites

Michigan’s Early Awareness and Multicultural Outreach (EAMO) Committee –
Our Financial Literacy Warriors

Submitted on behalf of and with special thanks to:
Julia Delagarza and Ingrid Clover
MSFAA EAMO Committee Co-Chairs

Submitted by:
Krissy Bhaumik
MSFAA President

This is just a short note to update you on the Spring 2016 EAMO workshops at the Ojibwe Charter School (OCS).  Monday, April 11 was the kick-off day for the five workshop series that ran through May 20.  The series of workshops, conducted in partnership with Lake Superior State University (LSSU) GEAR UP program, addressed college financing and college success strategies as well as incorporating a science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) component.  The workshops also included The Tiny Warrior: A Path to Personal Discovery, by DJ Eagle Bear Vanas.  The OCS students were familiar with Mr. Vanas and his work, as he has previously conducted workshops at their school.   The students were very excited to hear that Mr. Vanas would be evaluating their scholarship essays.  The Guardian of the Fire Scholarship recipient, Kara Pennington, was invited to MSFAA’s Summer Training Conference on beautiful Mackinac Island and recognized at a lunch session.

During the kick-off, students participated in a new, STEM-specific version of Extreme Reality, a financial literacy activity in which students are assigned a profession (in a STEM field), and then challenged to create budget strategies and balance a checkbook.  This activity was a great lead into an activity a few weeks later at LSSU’s  Exploration Sensation featuring the Michigan Technological University (MTU) STEM roadshow, Mind Trekkers (for more information, see

While a commute up to Sault Ste Marie in Michigan’s Upper Peninsula did pose challenges for some volunteers, MSFAA members from around the state were encouraged to attend the OCS workshops.   This is the first outreach initiative where MSFAA has partnered with our tribal communities in Michigan.  We are hopeful that what was started this year will grow thrive like a a “Three Sisters Garden serving our tribal students and families for years to come.  (Hint: If you don’t know about the Three Sisters Garden, look it up! It’s a transformative metaphor for us all!)

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