Skip to main content

MGP Mentors Serve As Family for Cass Tech Valedictorian

Positive African American female role models, validation and family are what Ciera Collier attributes to her Midnight Golf experience. With a tough family background Ciera says she had to “grow up faster than a lot of kids.” She knew she was college bound when she entered the MGP Class of 2019, but she needed to gain maturity and welcomed guidance to help her prioritize college fit.

Midnight Golf Mentors Shannon Dulin and Cheryl Stafford both spent time with Ciera and helped her figure out her next move.

“Ciera and I connected early in the program and I was so impressed with her spirit — she immediately struck me as a smart, kind, straightforward, and independent young woman,” Shannon said. “When you meet her, you can’t help but like her!”

As the Cass Technical High School 2019 valedictorian, Ciera had the grades and drive to succeed. She also had opportunities, including a full-ride to the University of Michigan, to consider. Her decision on what to do, however, did not come easily. It was through meeting with another MGP alumni who is at the University of Michigan and realizing what a unique opportunity she had that helped her ultimately decide on U of M.

Shannon, who is Government & Regulatory Affairs Manager at Comcast, has been an MGP mentor for three years. She helped Ciera make her college decision.

“At MGP, we understand the importance of finding the right college fit and have college success coaches who help our mentees determine what’s best for them,” said Shannon. “I have to say I’m ecstatic that U of M was a fit for Ciera.”

Cheryl, who has been an MGP mentor since 2006, said she spoke with Ciera from previous experience.

When I was told that she had a full ride to Michigan and has second thoughts about going, I felt a deep compassion to talk with her about the opportunity. I explained to Ciera my feelings since I had two daughters go through preparing for college and the expense that it cost putting children through college.” Cheryl, who is Principal Analyst Energy Assistance at DTE Energy, said. “I explained how it was one of life’s great opportunities for her to receive a full ride to college. That is what Midnight Golf is all about – helping you to go beyond the norm and reach for the sky. Ciera will excel at whatever she decides to do.”

This fall, Ciera is going to the University of Michigan on a full-ride scholarship, where she plans to study computer engineering. She is also part of the two-year M-Engin learning community through Michigan Engineering and will begin with a six-week summer transition program.

More than anything, MGP taught me that “I’m valid and that people care about me,” says Ciera.

Donate today to make a difference in the lives of Midnight Golf students like Ciera.