Release Date: 
Thursday, February 15, 2024

Mark Yancy, Jr. becomes the first Detroit Promise Program Coordinator

Portrait of Mark Yancy, Jr., dressed in a suit with a blue background

Mark Yancy, Jr. is not only the longest-serving campus success coach for the Detroit Promise program at HFC, but also throughout the State of Michigan.

At the beginning of 2024, Yancy was promoted to Detroit Promise Program Coordinator at HFC. He reports to HFC Vice President of Institutional Advancement and Executive Director of the HFC Foundation Reginald Best.

“HFC was the first community college in Michigan to launch the campus success coaching program,” said Yancy. “It’s a great way to positively impact students directly from the city of Detroit.”

HFC has the largest number of Detroit Promise students in Michigan

Yancy has worked with Detroit Promise since it was founded in 2016. Detroit Promise is a tuition-free college program, ensuring that any student graduating from any high school in Detroit will have a tuition-free path to an associate degree or technical certificate. The City of Detroit pays for tuition and fees, as long as all requirements are met.

“It has been a wonderful experience to see the students in my first cohort navigate their way through college. I have written letters of recommendation on their behalf and have served as a reference. It has been a great honor to watch them graduate and move on to either 4-year educational institutions or good-paying careers,” said Yancy.

Detroit Promise is administered by the Detroit Regional Chamber of Commerce in partnership with colleges like HFC, a proud participant since the beginning. The College has the largest number of Detroit Promise students of any college in the state. HFC follows the Applebaum Family Campus Coach model, which ensures students will have an individual campus success coach to support their academic success.

Each Detroit Promise student will receive a monthly stipend of $50 and will be connected to a community of Detroit Promise scholars. Detroit Promise arranges last-dollar funding for eligible students to cover the costs of tuition and mandatory fees. This means that any Pell and/or Tuition Incentive Program funding will be applied to a student’s tuition and fees first.

“Detroit Promise is an amazing program with an amazing team at an amazing institution,” said Yancy. “HFC President Russ Kavalhuna has been very supportive of the Detroit Promise program and tirelessly advocates for our success.”

The most powerful tool is education

A native of Detroit, Yancy is the eldest of three and the only son. He lives in Troy with his wife, Dr. Chantelle Yancy, and their two sons. Yancy is an alumnus of Redford High School in Detroit. After graduation, he attended Marygrove College, where he earned his bachelor’s degree in English and his master’s degree in educational leadership. He plans to pursue a doctorate at some point.

“My passions have always been youth empowerment and mentoring. The most powerful tool is education. Working in higher ed seemed like a natural fit for me,” explained Yancy.

A veteran of higher education for more than 15 years, Yancy began his career at Marygrove, his alma mater, where he worked in Student Support Services. Then he was an academic advisor at HFC before becoming a campus success coach for Detroit Promise.

“Mark has so much to give,” said campus success coach Delphine Davis, who has been at HFC since 2014 and joined Detroit Promise at the start of the Winter 2024 semester. “I've learned a lot in the few months that I have worked under his leadership.”

“It doesn’t seem like work most days”

“What I love about HFC is that everyone is committed to student success,” said Yancy. “Detroit Promise taps into like-minded departments that navigate student issues the same way we do. It’s a joy to work with people like that. To me, it doesn’t seem like work most days.”

Yancy supervises coaches Davis, Charisma Flowers, Jeffrey Liggens, and coaching specialist Reco Spencer. His duties also include:

  • Training and supporting campus success coaches
  • Developing new partnerships and growth modules
  • Advancing the mission of Detroit Promise
  • Mentoring students

“The heart of the Detroit Promise program and the foundation of its success at HFC is largely due to the hard work and commitment of Mark Yancy,” said Best. “HFC is a leader in this space because of his vision. This promotion is well-deserved, and I am looking forward to the future growth of our Detroit Promise program under his direction.”

“It’s exciting seeing the Detroit Promise program grow and develop, all for the better,” said Yancy. “Seeing students become the best version of themselves is always incredible to witness.”

Related content: Three new Detroit Promise Campus Success Coaches join the team.

Related content: Detroit Promise video

Created in 2019, this video provides a comprehensive look at the Detroit Promise through the stories of those who are involved. HFC components: