We celebrate collaborations with the most inventive, spirited and dedicated community people. They are resources for children to teach them something new, support their interests and mentor them as they develop goals and plans for their future. We welcome the strong collaborations we have with Eastern Michigan University, the University of Michigan, local artists, and the non-profit and business worlds.
EMU Bright Futures Program Model
Lynn Kleiman Malinoff, Ed.D - Director
I am the director of Eastern Michigan University’s 21st Century Community Learning Centers Programs, Bright Futures, which are located in three districts along the Michigan Avenue Corridor – Wayne-Westland Community Schools District, Willow Run Community Schools and Ypsilanti Community Schools. The project is centered at EMU’s Institute for the Study of Children, Families and Communities. For 35 years, I served challenged youth in K-12 education as both a general and special education teacher. I have taught at all levels and developed grants and programs for at-risk youth with a focus on mentoring and service-learning. I received my doctorate in educational leadership from EMU where I studied the culture, history and politics of local communities along the Michigan Avenue corridor in Southeastern Michigan. I continue to use my entrepreneurial skills and systems knowledge to build bridges between higher education, the K-12 schools, and the community. I am grateful to have a wonderful family with two grown sons, a husband and two Shetland Sheepdogs. I am passionate about all things photography and culinary.
Maria Mitter, LMSW, MSBA - Assistant Director
Maria Mitter has worked over 10 years with at-risk youth in the juvenile justice and education settings. Ms. Mitter holds a Master's degree in Social Work from the University of Michigan and a Master's degree in Business Leadership from Madonna University. She has a passion for grant writing to secure funding that will give youth opportunities to enrich their lives and provide support to achieve their greatest potential. Maria currently serves as the Assistant Program Director of the Bright Futures 21st Century Community Learning Center program. In her role, Ms. Mitter provides support to site level staff, monitors grant compliance, secures funding through external grant sources, provides youth development training for front line staff and work to develop partnerships throughout the communities served.
Scott Teasdale - Assistant Director
Scott Teasdale is an assistant director for the 21st CCLC Bright Futures programs operating out of Eastern Michigan University. Scott handles the business administration needs of the grants and takes great pride in serving some of the schools he attended during grade-school and while student teaching (Go Zebras! Go Eagles!). When he is not trying to get someone paid or completing a budget, you can find Scott playing/watching sports (trying to best his wife in tennis), hanging with his dog, or SUP boarding on a local lake. Scott earned his B.B.A. in Management from Western Michigan University, a secondary teaching certification in business education and a MBA from Eastern Michigan University.
John Benci - Local Evaluator
As I often introduce myself at various functions, “I am half of the Evaluation Team,” the other half being Peggy Wiencek. Peggy and I provide data and assessment support required by the Michigan Department of Education as well as internal measures and feedback for continuous program improvement. I have unique opportunities to observe our programs from concept creation through student efforts and achievements.
I have had the honor of being a part of Bright Futures from the beginning, seeing our five fledgling sites grow to twenty serving students and communities in three districts in grades from second through twelfth. Working with a strong and creative staff, both administrative and programmatic, and seeing their dedication supporting positive opportunities in the lives of children and families has been a singular pleasure.
Peggy Wieneck - Local Evaluator
Peggy has a Master’s Degree in Sociology and has been a researcher at EMU’s Institute for the Study of Children, Families and Communities (ISCFC) for 31 years where she serves as the Director of ISCFC’s Center for Applied Research and Evaluation. Ms. Wiencek has had extensive experience conducting research projects, applied studies and evaluations. Her research experience includes instrument design, supervising data collection and data management, data analysis, and report writing. Ms. Wiencek was the Program Evaluator for EMU’s GEAR UP program funded by the U.S. Department of Education. Her dozens of previous program evaluations also include studies of foster care quality, assessment of the safety and stability of children in foster care placements, evaluation of the system of care in juvenile justice, and evaluation of community studies. She has presented broadly at professional conferences on methodologies for conducting applied research and evaluation studies.