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College for Creative Studies students take big steps to earn scholarships, help those with developmental disorders

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The road to professional design has gotten a little easier for three students at the College for Creative Studies thanks to a scholarship from Services To Enhance Potential (STEP).

Nine CSS students were chosen to pitch their ideas for the STEP Thrift Store and Donation Center (formerly Tried and True Thrift Store and Donation Center), which is scheduled to open in Dearborn Heights come June.

STEP provides employment in those stores for individuals with developmental disorders as well as teaches them daily living skills and self-determination. The  stores not only provide jobs, but also raise money through sales and donations. Every dollar spent at the stores, as well as every donation made, directly supports the employment and retail training of STEP’s employees.

After evaluation by STEP judges at the Taubman Center, Ian Evans, a CCS junior, came out the winner of the scholarship.

Ian Evans makes his presentation

Ian Evans makes his presentation

Evans may have come out first and won the $500 scholarship, but he was not the only one to come out ahead. The demonstrations were so impressive, the store decided to give a second scholarship of $250 to the team of Nadine Dupont and Laral Soloway.

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Nadine Dupont makes her team’s presentaton

The winning designs will be integrated into to the interior layout of the new STEP store.

With this being the third STEP store, and the company in the process of rebranding, it is an incredible opportunity for the students. The projects had to be creativity and innovative, have thoughtful placement and be purposeful. The designs also had be both eye-catching and welcoming to prospective buyers, donors, and consumers on the outside and exciting to the shoppers on the inside.

“We are excited to further our mission by opening our third thrift store,”  says Brent C. Mikulski, STEP president and CEO. “Our success with our first two stores have provided employment opportunities for more than 60 individuals with an intellectual or developmental disability, or a mental illness to earn above minimum wages for more than 6 years.”

STEP is funded primarily through the Detroit Wayne Mental Health Authority. It provides services to more than 1,400 persons annually and is accredited by CARF for community integration, community services coordination, community employment services, job development, job-site training, job supports, employment services coordination, and organizational employment services.

“When customers make donations and or shop at any of our Thrift Store locations, they’re helping our cause,” says Luchian. “We hire the individuals we serve allowing them to earn an income, integrate in community life and learn useful real-world skills.”

If you have gently used merchandise stop by one of the two thrift store locations and drop off a donation and receive a tax donation receipt. One store is located at 35004 W Michigan Ave. in Wayne. The second is at 15413 Dix Toledo in Southgate.

For additional information about College of Creative Studies please visit: http://www.collegeforcreativestudies.edu/. For additional information about Services To Enhance Potential or to make a donation please visit: http://www.stepcentral.org/.

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