DHS launching new program 'Pathways to Potential' - ABC 12 – WJRT – Flint, MI

DHS launching new program 'Pathways to Potential'

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MID-MICHIGAN (WJRT) -

(09/04/12) - In March, Gov. Snyder unveiled a public safety plan to tackle problems to four communities - including Flint and Saginaw.

"I didn't recognize this - the laws in Michigan are geared towards dealing with 16 to 18 year olds, saying you have to show for up for school," Snyder said in March. "We don't have anything that says you're 8 you have to show up for school. How dumb is that?"

Gov. Snyder addressed the challenges in education after unveiling the comprehensive public safety plan.

The plan included adding 135 Department of Human Services workers and strengthening their presence in schools.

Michele Dollar, with DHS, has worked inside Durant-Turri Mott for years, but now she has more help and more resources.

This year, DHS is launching a new program, Pathways to Potential, inside DTM, two other Flint schools and some Saginaw Schools.

DHS workers will now be working more one on one with students and families - addressing problems individually and digging deeper.

"Sometimes if there is an attendance issue, there is another underlying issue. Maybe there's a homelessness issue or maybe they don't have an alarm clock or something that's getting the child up on time," Dollar said. "It's a very exciting new thing and we're looking forward to the families and expanding on what we can help them with so they can be self sufficient."

Also new - Michigan State Medical Students will be lending their expertise to DHS.

"They're going to be working very closely with the schools to identify what the needs are of that school, so it may be different at Washington as opposed to DTM or at Bryant Elementary," Dollar said.

Durant-Tuuri Mott parents like Jojuana Smith are welcoming the changes.

"It would be good because everybody's needs are different," Smith said.

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