Contact Us at 949-955-0014

Murray Institute for Empowering Excellence 2017 Application



COR Education (MIEE (Murray Institute of Empowering Excellence)/CARE LAB)
Ministry Leader: Ernest Garrison
A component of the Youth Ministry at COR Church, COR Education offers after-school homework assistance, specializing in STEAM (Science, Technology, Engineering Arts and Math) to youth ages 10-18 during the academic year. Science and technology labs will be conducted to enforce problem-solving skills. Lessons in art and music will also be administered. Students will be able to identify and read sheet music. All students are encouraged to create in our art lab and classrooms – guest speakers and artists present to the student to enforce these skills and ideas.
The Murray Institute for Empowering Excellence (MIEE) focuses on building attitudes and life skills that result in enriched lives and high achievement. It offers an exciting, unique opportunity for young people in the Orange County area. Having the distinct honor of being considered for Ray Charles Fellows, these middle and high school students immerse themselves in 96 hours of character development, creative expression, community building, progressive education, and STEM based labs. They engage one another during 32 meetings over eight weeks that include rousing discussions, weekly assignments, targeted activities and field events. The range and depth of their experiences will give tribute to the exceptional legacies of spiritual and community leader Cecil L. Murray and musician extraordinaire Ray Charles.

MIEE’s curriculum centers on FACES. The acronym underscores the program’s intent to make these young people visible in their schools, communities and lives. The Ray Charles Fellows will have innovative experiences regarding:

Family and Faith, an exploration of the rich heritage of their ethnic, familial and faith-based cultures that serve as a foundation for the visions and expectations they create for their own lives, families and communities.

Arts and Articulation, the discovery of their voices, the expression of their passions, the unique mechanisms through which they share their creativity with the world.

Community Service, the character-building activities of championing a cause and giving dedicated, stirring attention to the people that they serve.

Education and Career, the investigation of dreams, of personal and professional options and what it takes to achieve them.

Self-awareness, a concentration on their individual and communal value, their capacity to convey thoughts and ideas, and ability to relate to others.

STEM, Students will have FUN learning hands-on STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics) subjects and soft skills: problem-solving, self-confidence, critical thinking, and team collaboration. Students will also gain a greater sense of character building and creative expression.

FACES will change outlooks, choices and outcomes. It will guide Ray Charles Fellows to want, expect and achieve more. It will provide the substance for excellence.

Implementing MIEE successfully requires attention to the holistic health and well-being of the Ray Charles Fellows. In addition to individualized attention, then, the institute will provide warm and nutritious breakfasts, lunches and dinners when activities involve those timeframes as well as round-trip transportation related to all activities, field trips, and community services opportunities.

Ray Charles Fellows

Those who are selected as Ray Charles Fellows are students who have a demonstrated desire to excel. They aspire to be personal examples of responsible behavior, inspiration and achievement. They believe in themselves and are eager to help others do the same.

There are two groups of Ray Charles Fellows: Junior Fellows and Senior Fellows. Junior Fellows are middle school students who have begun to show leadership through volunteer service at their churches or in their communities, have sustainable grade level performance at school, and demonstrate personal reliability. Senior Fellows, who are early high school students, add to these characteristics. They are college bound; carry a strong grade point average; have served in leadership roles at school, in their communities and/or churches; demonstrate integrity, innovation and problem-solving skills; and collaborate effectively with others.

After applying for a Ray Charles Fellowship, candidates for this honor are interviewed by a diverse panel of people who are committed to the success of MIEE. Approximately 28 young people are selected to form each class of Ray Charles Fellows.


MIEE is offering FACES in three, eight-week sessions that start April 10th, 2017. The timeline gives special attention to each of the components:

Week 1 Robotic Project 1
Week 2 Art, Airbrushing and Digital Design
Week 3 Biology and Botany
Week 4 Information Technology
Week 5 Innovative Design
Week 6 Astronomy
Week 7 Robotic Project 2
Week 8 Physical Education   


The Murray Institute for Empowering Excellence provides a life-changing experience in the lives of Ray Charles Fellows and is funded through the generosity of the Ray Charles Foundation. As a result, it is important that Ray Charles Fellows demonstrate their commitment to their own futures and to MIEE.

A Commitment Fee, therefore, will be assessed. This fee functions as a personal deposit that is paid according to the schedule below. It is fully refunded at the end of the program if the Ray Charles Fellow consistently attends, and fully and actively participates in all aspects of the program. If the Fellow falls short of these expectations, which are provided in writing, the deposit is forfeited.

Early Bird Commitment Fee:    Due April 1, 2017    $100
Regular Commitment Fee:       Due April 10, 2017    $150   

Application Requirements

Selection Process
The Murray Institute for Empowering Excellence at Christ Our Redeemer AME Church can accommodate a limited number of students. The selection process will provide a diversified student body. Overall, grades, timeliness, and completion of the application will count for 60% of the criteria for admission; the personal statement will count for the remaining 40%. Students will be notified by telephone after the selection process is completed.

Report Cards
All applicants are responsible for having copies of their most recent report card attached to their application packet. No application packet will be accepted without a copy of the report card attached. These will not be returned, so please submit a copy.

Personal Statement
Follow answer all questions on the questionnaire on page 10. All responses must be typed or printed, please.

Letter of Recommendation
Letters of recommendation are encouraged but not required. Request one letter of recommendation from your counselor, a teacher, or from a school administrator, (or anyone who can articulate your academic work ethic) early enough to allow them time to carefully complete the recommendation and return it to you. Recommendations will be accepted only if returned in a signed, sealed envelope.

Accuracy and Completeness
Please submit all required documentation and ensure that they are accurate and complete. These documents are essential to the student selection process.

How to Apply

Apply for admission to the Murray Institute for Empowering Excellence at Christ Our Redeemer AME Church by (1) completing the application form in this packet, (2) returning all materials to the address listed (or email or fax number) below, (3) meeting the criteria for this program (4) paying the commitment fee for the 8 week program. Please follow the instructions carefully. Submit your completed application by one of the following methods:

In person / by mail:
Christ Our Redeemer AME Church
45 Tesla
Irvine, CA 92618
Office: 949-955-0014 ext *205

Christ Our Redeemer AME Church
Re: Murray Institute for Empowering Excellence
Attn: Ernest Garrison
Fax: 949-955-0021



When to Apply

To ensure your consideration for admission to the Murray Institute for Empowering Excellence at Christ Our Redeemer AME Church, submit your completed application before the April 10, 2017 deadline. The application must be in our office by 5:00 pm on that date. Applications received thereafter will be put on a waiting list, and there is a strong possibility late applications will not be accepted. Postmarks after the due date will be considered late.

Please check your forms for completeness and accuracy. Remove all forms from the packet and complete all items. Use this checklist as a guide to complete and submit your application.

  _____ Application form
  _____ Personal Statement
  _____ Letter of Recommendation
  _____ Report Card

Program Expectations
Students are expected to arrive on time and be prepared and ready to work. They are also expected to bring necessary changes in clothing or hygiene items, and all required documentation (for special travel, field trip, and workshop days). Students are to attend on designated days, complete all assignments and conduct themselves according to the standards of Christ Our Redeemer AME Church. Students who do not adhere to the expected policies will be dismissed from the program and fees will not be refunded.

For questions regarding the Murray Institute for Empowering Excellence at Christ Our Redeemer AME Church, please feel free to contact any of the individuals listed below:

Charles Dorsey
COR CDC Executive Director
45 Tesla
Irvine, CA 92618
949-955-0014 x205

Terica Anderson
COR CDC Executive Assistant
949-955-0014 x204

Ernest Garrison
MIEE Program Coordinator