Supporting West Shore Community College’s College for Kids Camp
August 9, 2023 – Empowering students begins with connecting their interests with critical skills – a realization guiding West Shore Community College’s ‘College for Kids Camp.’ Over 200 students, 9-15 years old, from Oceana, Lake, Manistee, and Mason counties spent a week exploring careers in STEAM (science, technology, engineering, art, and mathematics). With a $5,000 combined grant from the Oceana Youth Fund and Mrs. Mullen’s Closet Fund, the Foundation sponsored 32 Oceana students to visit WSCC to explore skill clusters and the Skills for Success framework. These essential skills include Technology Literacy, Collaboration and Global Thinking, Communication, Critical Thinking, Ethical Citizenship, and more. Removing the cost of the summer camp, each scholarship covered supplies, field trips, daily lunches, a t-shirt, and transportation to and from WSCC. A significant underlying bonus to this program is having students experience campus life at a young age, helping to build their college-going attitude and plan. These experiences of actual “feet on campus” impact their ability to envision themselves as part of college life.
Both Oceana Youth Advisory Council, the stewards of the Youth Fund, and Mrs. Mullen’s Closet Fund have sponsored WSCC’s camp for two years. Mrs. Mullen’s Closet was established in memory of Dyanne Mullen, a beloved educator, principal, and advocate for Hart elementary school students. Mrs. Mullen’s Closet began when Dyanne started buying clothing to build up her office closet for any students in need. Dyanne’s co-workers knew to send students to her office to find warm, clean clothes without knowing the source. Recognizing how her generosity helped hundreds of students, Dyanne’s husband, Mark, family & friends established her memorial fund at the Foundation. Mrs. Mullen’s Closet Fund continues her legacy of helping elementary students with winter clothing needs – with closets now at all elementary schools in Oceana County. The Mrs. Mullen’s Closet advisory committee is also an avid supporter of local youth initiatives like the ‘College for Kids Camp,’ working to fulfill Dyanne’s dream that all students have the resources and encouragement needed to thrive.