Students organize fundraiser for domestic violence shelter

By: Maria Allard | Warren Weekly | Published January 26, 2018

 Turning Point Fund Development Director Karan Bates-Gasior, center, visits with the Southwest Macomb Technical Education Consortium’s National Technical Honor Society Jan. 18.

Turning Point Fund Development Director Karan Bates-Gasior, center, visits with the Southwest Macomb Technical Education Consortium’s National Technical Honor Society Jan. 18.

Photo provided by Kathleen Szuminski

WARREN — Students in the Southwest Macomb Technical Education Consortium’s National Technical Honor Society wanted to make a change in an effort to help others.

After some careful planning, they held a Change for Change drive in December to raise money to benefit Turning Point, a Macomb County-based nonprofit organization that provides programs and resources to survivors of domestic violence and sexual assault.

The students raised approximately $650 for Turning Point. On Jan. 18, Turning Point Fund Development Director Karan Bates-Gasior visited the school to pick up the check and share information with the students about what the shelter offers. Services include counseling and advocacy, a forensic nurse examiners program, legal help, children and teen programs, and prevention education.

SMTEC is a partnership between the Center Line, Fitzgerald, Van Dyke and Warren Woods school districts that provides career technical education, or CTE, to 10th-, 11th- and 12th-grade students. The program also has the National Technical Honor Society, which organized the fundraiser.

Fitzgerald High School senior Janee Brewer is president of the NTHS. She said students placed coin jars in all the CTE classes and encouraged donations of loose change from students and staff for the Change for Change drive.

“We thought the easiest way to collect money was pocket change. We collected for about two weeks,” Brewer said, noting that the students decided together to assist Turning Point. “We just thought we could help out most there. It made us feel happy.”

SMTEC Director Kathleen Szuminski said the NTHS students from all four schools meet once a month to plan activities and community service projects. She said the students wanted the Change for Change drive to benefit a Macomb County charitable organization.

“They were looking for something that would go back to help families and our county,” Szuminski said.

Last year, the student group held a Jeans for Teens drive in which they collected about 500 pairs of new and gently used jeans for Turning Point.

The CTE classes are categorized into six career pathways: arts and communication; business management, marketing and technology; engineering/manufacturing and industrial technology; health sciences; human services; and natural resources and agriscience. SMTEC offers courses in each of these areas except for natural resources and agriscience.

Students can enroll in the CTE classes in another district if their home school or district does not offer the classes they select. According to school officials, bus transportation is provided for students taking classes outside of their district.

For more information on SMTEC, visit www.smteccte.org.

For more information about Turning Point, visit www.turningpointmacomb.org. The 24-hour crisis helpline phone number is (586) 463-6990.