From government assistance to transforming the lives of others

Alumna improves the college process for students in the Great Lakes Bay Region

Renee Courier-Aumock, a first generation high school and college graduate, is the first to admit that her path was statistically not in her favor.

“My school counselor never suggested that I go to college,” she said.

Right out of high school, Courier-Aumock landed a job working in manufacturing, but was later laid off. She looked for jobs for two years off and on. At the same time, she found herself raising her baby all on her own.

“I was an unemployed single mom living on government assistance,” she said. “I couldn’t bear raising my daughter that way.”

Discovering a path to college

Courier-Aumock saw a commercial for Davenport University and enrolled at the former campus in Bay City, now Great Lakes Bay.

“As a first generation college student, I had no idea what FAFSA was or how to look for financial support or scholarships,” Courier-Aumock said. “My advisors helped me through a lot. But at the time I thought there had to be better resources for people in similar situations.”

Her experience as a student worker at the Bay Area Community Foundation was the catalyst that launched her career in college and career planning. Her first role was assisting with scholarships. Thirteen years later she oversees and directs the scholarship program, the Bay Commitment Program and the Great Lakes Bay College and Career Resource Center at the Bay Area Community Foundation.

“I went from being a first-generation high school graduate to thinking I was just only smart enough to earn a certificate in medical billing and coding, to then an associates in health information management,” she said. “Then I switched my major to business where I earned an associate in Business and a bachelor’s in Business and a master’s in Business with a focus in Strategic Management. If I can do it, you can do it too!”

Her mission sparked an idea within the Bay Area Community Foundation. How do they build a sustainable community, helping better the quality of life for all of their communities’ citizens and improve area’s business economy?

The solution: The Great Lakes Bay College and Career Resource Center.

“Looking back now, I would have been able to get full college assistance right after high school because I was a low income student,” she said. “I want to ensure all students in the Great Lakes Bay Region have the information and resources they need about life after high school.”

More than 10 years later, she is proud that the center has provided resources, access and financial support to thousands of Bay County K-12 students and college students, as well as adults needing a skilled trade, certificate or GED.

Courier-Aumock’s drive, determination and education at DU transformed her career. She hopes it also helps continue to transform the future of countless others as she continues her work with those in need of education.


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