Connections That Count
In 2002, Counseling and Special Education department member Joan Hogan founded Connections that Count. This innovative service-learning program reaches out into Mt. Pleasant and the surrounding communities to support families who have children with special needs. Through the creation of vital partnerships between these families and CMU students, opportunities for enriched learning experiences occur for students with special needs, families, and college students.
The purpose of Connections That Count is to positively influence children and their families by providing strong mentorship with passion to enrich the lives of individuals within our community. Students regularly attend the SAC, swim, bowl, play pool, climb the rock wall… just to name a handful of the active opportunities shared. CMU students also mentor and assist with homework, social skills, and life lessons. Many community agencies collaborate with Connections that Count to ensure the needs of families are addressed and met. These partnerships include referrals from Central Michigan Health Department, Community Mental Health, Department of Human Services, Intermediate School Districts, Area Public Schools, and various other referrals.
Many lifelong connections begin with Connections that Count that transform the lives of both families and students of all ages. The smiles on the faces of each individual involved with this program demonstrate what a difference these opportunities make. As CMU student Katrina Hibbs shared, “I will forever be grateful for this opportunity to work with such an amazing, inspiring little boy.”