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 DETROIT, Nov. 10 /PRNewswire/ -- It's hard to pick up a newspaper, magazine or watch television without some reminder of the educational crisis or the potential loss of an entire generation of children in the inner cities. General Motors (NYSE: GM) and the Highland Park School District are addressing that problem through their jointly developed Project MIGHT, designed to build self-esteem and motivate students to pursue educational opportunities and professional careers.
 That program, started in 1989, has involved more than 80 members of the GM Legal Staff and is being expanded to involve other GM employees. On Nov. 10, the GM Legal Staff received the Public Service Award from the American Corporate Council Association Foundation for its efforts in Project MIGHT which "represents an outstanding example of a willingness to give something back to the local community."
 The primary focus of Project MIGHT has been fifth-graders attending the four elementary schools in Highland Park, a community completely surrounded by the city of Detroit. Teams of GM Legal Staff members visit assigned fifth-grade classes every other week to mentor the students in a number of activities.
 "Since 1989, we have touched over 1,000 young minds and have both turned around children headed down the wrong track, as well as motivated others to strive for their dreams of becoming a doctor, lawyer, teacher or other professional," said Chris Johnson, a member of the GM Legal Staff and head of the project for GM. "We know the students have benefited greatly from this effort, but its clear from the high level of participation by the Legal Staff, that the attorneys and other staff members have received immense satisfaction and a sense of accomplishment as well."
 The weekly MIGHT Day focuses on showing how good study habits can prove valuable in "grownup jobs," discussing non-violent dispute resolution, conducting lessons on black history, introducing the children to modern office technology, discussing news of current interest, conducting lessons on social etiquette and how to make the right choices. Other teams meet with the children to provide other role model guidance, conduct field trips and hold special programs to expose them to areas that otherwise would be unavailable to the inner city children.
 The program, according to former Highland Park Schools Superintendent Eldon Martin, "was successful beyond my wildest dreams."
 "The Highland Park School District warmly appreciates the exemplary volunteer involvement of the General Motors Legal Staff as mentors for our students through Project MIGHT," said Dr. Eugene L. Cain, the current superintendent of schools. "We welcome their continuing contribution to the enrichment of our students' learning experiences and the widening of student hopes and horizons for the future, The beyond- the-call dedication of the fine men and women of the GM Legal Staff epitomize both corporate citizenship and personal commitment."
 In addition to the fifth-grade involvement, another component of Project MIGHT focuses on mentoring to young adults in the Highland Park Adult Education Program. Activities such as a "day on the job" give students insights into the corporate/white collar workplace by exposing them to various workplace environments both within General Motors, and outside the Corporation with other businesses such as Crowley's and a minority-owned GM dealership.
 "The key to the program at all levels has been the exposure to things outside of the children's normal inner city environment," said Johnson. "That's why we would like to expand the program to include a ninth-grade segment as a way of monitoring the progress of some of the former Project MIGHT students and focus on linking them up with specific career goals with mentors in those careers for a more in-depth look of what it might be like to be a doctor, lawyer, engineer or other professional."
 -0- 11/10/93
 /CONTACT: Ed Lechtzin of General Motors, 313-974-1582; or Charles Russell of Highland Park Schools, 313-252-2017/

CO: General Motors Corporation; Highland Park Schools ST: Michigan IN: SU:

SM -- DE011 -- 2657 11/10/93 10:03 EST
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Publication:PR Newswire
Date:Nov 10, 1993

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