With each week that passes during this crisis there are increasing needs, more difficult decisions, and different understandings of what the coming months will bring.

And, at the same time, there are widely-circulated videos celebrating heroic frontline workers, op-eds calling attention to needed systemic change, and example after example of neighbors “stepping up” for each other when it’s needed most.

At WMCAT, I’m seeing our partners step up to address unprecedented issues; our staff step up to support students in ever-changing circumstances; friends like you step up to make this work possible; and our students step up to continue pursuing opportunity in the midst of uncertainty.

These three students are stepping up with the support of their WMCAT family. You are making this work possible when you give to WMCAT. Thank you.

Step Year student Dezarae is on the frontlines in a retirement community, providing care for elders while they are isolated from their families. While she’s stepping up to work long hours under stressful circumstances, Dezarae’s interest in healthcare as a career pathway is growing. Because WMCAT’s Step Year has pivoted to meeting online while social distancing, Dezarae is exploring nursing and medical assisting programs, and virtually connecting with professionals in the field with the support of Program Manager Brandy Arnold.

It’s hard to imagine what it’s like to start a new job in the midst of a pandemic – but Asia could tell you. A medical billing student in the Adult Career Training Program, Asia was recently hired by Spectrum Health and is stepping up to begin her first career position as a biller in “a makeshift office in my basement,” as she says. And WMCAT support is not far away, as Asia is being trained online by one of our graduates, Senior Biller Rashika Lee.

Liam, a video production student in the Teen Arts + Tech Program, knew he could count on Teaching Artist Mike Saunders as a resource – even at a distance. Liam stepped up to ask for mentorship and feedback for a video project he’s creating. He and Mike are meeting virtually, outside of online studio check-ins, to stay connected and encourage Liam’s creativity.

These stories are possible because you keep stepping up for WMCAT. Please make a gift today to ensure we are there for economically-vulnerable families, can mitigate social isolation for young people, and are prepared for the challenges of the near future.

With gratitude,

Daniel Williams
President + CEO
West Michigan Center for Arts + Technology

P.S. Due to the shelter-in-place order, information sessions for our tuition-free Adult Career Training Program in medical billing, medical coding, and pharmacy technician have moved online. Learn more and share with those interested in a meaningful, living-wage career.