FLINT, MI — Lenore Croudy often called those closest to her a “lifetime friend.” That designation came with a commitment to support her in efforts to better her community.
Those who remain friends of Croudy after her death in 2017 remembered her as a community leader, activist and longest-serving member of the Mott Community College Board of Trustees.
And today, those lifetime friends announced a new dedication in her honor — the Lenore Croudy Family Life Center.
Mott Community College unveiled the Lenore Croudy Family Life Center that will serve as a resource hub for everyone in the MCC community. The wraparound family service center features Mott Eats, a free food pantry; Ellen’s Closet, where students can get free professional clothing; family counselors and substance abuse counselors.
It’s a “safe space” for students to study and alleviates barriers that many students face in Flint, like transportation, access to free food, family counseling and emotional support, student Samantha Bayne said.
“The center and its resources have been a lifesaver, personally,” Bayne said. “I used the Mott Eats program that was a great help when I wasn’t able to afford groceries. … I was able to use Cares Act funding when my car broke down and I couldn’t attend classes or my job. ”
MCC President Beverly Walker-Griffea called the newest addition to campus a “physical embodiment” of what the college stands for.
“This is not just a building,” she said. “This is the latest manifestation of out commitment to be a place of purpose and possibility.”
The center also houses the college’s revamped early childhood center, supported by a $3 million donation from the Charles Steward Mott Foundation.
This was the perfect way to celebrate Croudy’s everlasting commitment to the community, Walker-Griffea said.
“A place of high purpose and endless possibilities. A place where no student is left on their own. A place where love, direction and guidance can be found in abundance,” Walker-Griffea said. “A place named after a pioneering woman of color who’s leadership and legacy live on in our community — the Lenore Family Life Center.”
The center opened for on-campus staff and students about nine months ago, MCC Communications Specialist Dawn Hibbard said, but an official ribbon-cutting couldn’t take place due to COVID-19 gathering regulations.
Renovations to the center, which formerly housed the Woodside Church, took about a year and a half to conduct prior to opening.
MCC Mobile Learning Lab
In addition to the Lenore Croudy Family Life Center, Mott Community College unveiled a Mobile Learning Lab with capabilities to meet students where they are to secure engineering certificates and explore career fields.
The mobile learning lab, which fits on a semi-trailer, expands to nearly 1,000 square feet when set up for classrooms. The lab houses robotics training, augmented reality welding programs, a 3D printer and classroom section with laptops. It can be outfitted for multiple different programs to accommodate where it is visiting.
The lab will make visits to local schools, manufacturers, job sites, jails and other career-related events to help members of the community earn information technology certificates, certificates in machine operation and advanced welding certificates.
Paul Lafia, a retired physician in Genesee County, brought the idea to the table years ago and helped bring one of the few mobile learning labs in the nation to Mott Community College.
“There’s only one thing that will improve people’s lives. That is acquiring a skillset that allows them to function in the 21st century,” Lafia said. “This is a state-of-the-art facility that will allow young and old people to increase their skills and get jobs in advanced manufacturing.”
Walker-Griffea described the mobile learning lab as a modernized book mobile that will reach out in the community to remove barriers to furthering education.
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