Kettering University Welcomes Its First Flint Promise Scholar graduates

For Michael Young and Blase Haynes, college was a hope but not a surety. Both aspired to go to college and had dreams beyond that, but neither was sure they would be able to afford it. However, both learned in their senior year of high school that there was Flint Promise could help them achieve their goals.  

Young found out about the program through his counselor.   

“We were looking for different colleges to apply to and she brought up how Kettering was going into the Flint Promise program,” Young said. “Since I wanted to go into the science field, she thought Kettering would be a pretty good fit for me.”    

Young graduated from Mott Middle College in 2019 and he went right to Kettering University. Young was uncertain about going to college because of the cost but the Flint Promise changed that.   

“No one in my family has done a four-year bachelor’s degree,” Young said. “Were it not for the Flint Promise, I probably wouldn’t have been able to afford college.   

For Haynes, it was a Kettering employee who had inspired him to focus on that university. While he was a student at Powers Catholic High School, the recruiter had given a presentation about the program and how the university was becoming a partner. Haynes stayed in contact with the recruiter and as soon as the Flint Promise was official at Kettering, he committed to them that day.   

“Flint Promise put Kettering on my radar as a school I should go to,” Haynes said. “I knew I wanted a four-year degree. I was leaning toward MSU (Michigan State University) and then I found out Kettering had a business program. Then it was the biggest no-brainer. I wasn’t sure how I was going to pay for school, let alone make money. Kettering and the Flint Promise answered both of those questions. Nowhere else could.”  

For both Young and Haynes, the program was what they had hoped for and more. It allowed them to pursue a college degree without the concern of having to go into debt.    

“Because I am able to graduate without student debt the possibilities are really endless,” Haynes said.  “If I want to accept a job somewhere else, I’m not burdened by student debt and that payment being due. ”  

Their experiences with Flint Promise were helpful beyond paying for school. The program also provides a support system that checked in with them to make sure that everything was going well.   

“It’s been good. Mr. (James) Washington’s been my main contact through it all,” said Haynes. “I cannot speak highly enough of him. He was always there to chat about whatever I needed, and he was never overbearing. It felt like an extension of my support system.”   

Haynes’ experience had been so positive in the program that he told his younger brother and sister about Flint Promise, and both are set to enter it as soon as they can.   

“It’s been pretty nice,” said Young. “Throughout the entire time I was at Kettering I was able to keep in contact with Mr. Washington and Mrs. (Holly) Avery through Flint Promise. It was nice.”  

Both scholars received their degrees from Kettering University in December 2023 and are now focused on their futures.   

“I just finished with a bachelor’s in computer science,” said Young. “I’d really like to go into software development. I want to create things that can help people.”  

“My dream scenario would be to help fix the school system in the U.S.,” said Haynes. “Ideally, help improve the school systems (in Flint). Bring more education around emotional intelligence, finances, relationships, and fulfillment. I’d like to educate people on those things in an environment that gives everyone a chance to learn it.”  

What would they recommend for any students interested in the Flint Promise Scholarship?  

“Reach out for help when you need it,” said Young. “College is never easy. If you’re struggling, don’t be afraid to reach out to your school’s help program or the Flint Promise staff.”  

“I can’t emphasize enough how much this is a no-brainer,” said Haynes. “No matter what you plan on doing, getting certifications or a degree will only raise your floor in the future. Without that debt accumulation it only raises your floor for your potential.”