The largest grant in the foundation's history will be used to create a program called Networks of Excellence. The network — the second to be administered by the United Way for Southeastern Michigan — will choose five high schools from which to create up to twenty specialized academies along with establishing five early learning communities to help get young children ready for kindergarten.
The foundation's first network launched with five high schools in 2008. Within one year, 83 percent of the students in the network were on track to graduate, up from 65 percent, according to the United Way for Southeastern Michigan.
"The students we are trying to reach are the future," said GM North America president and foundation board member Mark Reuss. "The GM Foundation can make a difference and helping [to] create Networks of Excellence is a proven way to do it."