GRCC In the News, 2-10-16

First Generation College Student Struggles to Fit In

Feb. 9, 2016; (KISD newsletter)

Godfrey Lee Public Schools, MI — Jordan Lovett feels a little like a puzzle piece that doesn’t quite fit lately. She sits in the Moose Cafe at Aquinas College holding a cup of hot cocoa and reflects on the last semester.

… She’s now got a heavy slate of 18 credits: biology, math for liberal arts, inquiry and expression, history of popular music and Spanish. But she’s transferring after this semester to Grand Rapids Community College, where she can save a lot of money in pursuing a major in social work.

New mentoring program seeks to connect local youth of color with Grand Rapids’ tech industry

Feb. 9, 2016;

On Thursday, February 11, local businessmen Jonathan Jelks and Alvin Hill IV will launch The Midwest Tech Project Mentoring Program at the Grand Rapids Art Museum aimed at exposing Grand Rapids youth of color to the technology sector and opportunities within it.

“What inspired this project for us is the fact that Grand Rapids is ranked with 53% unemployment for in the black community and 43% of African Americans live in poverty in the city of Grand Rapids. And we have a really fascinating and strong tech community in Grand Rapids. We think we can help them have a stronger relationship, more grassroots in our own city, particularly the African American and Latino communities. Since the 2014 Future of Michigan Workforce forum at Grand Rapids Community College, we’ve been brainstorming and conceptualizing way to connect kids of color to the tech industry here in Grand Rapids,” Jelks, co-founder of The Midwest Tech Project.

Beautiful in mind, body, and soul

Feb. 5, 2016; WOTV

GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. (WOTV) — Beautiful U is an event for middle school girls to teach them about being beautiful in mind, body, and soul.

… Another career path presented to the girls came from the Secchia Institute for Culinary Education. More women are going into the culinary industry, and presenters showed the girls it is a career path that’s open to them. On the message of health, they also learned the pre-teen years are pivotal for bone health. Messages from Jane Hedges, RD, the United Dairy Industry of Michigan, and Olympic gold medal swimmer Allison Schmitt taught girls about healthy food choices and importance of dairy.

Poetry Slam team being organized for national competitions

Feb. 9, 2016; MLive

Local poets and spoken word artists take note.

… He (Antonio Taylor) hosts an open mic program every Wednesday and performs locally; one of his largest audiences was at a celebration of Martin Luther King Jr. event hosted by Grand Rapids Community College.

Exercise Science, Biology departments participate in Engaged Department Initiative

Congratulations to the Exercise Science and Biology Departments for their outstanding efforts in creating community-based experiences for their students. Both departments are part of the Engaged Department Initiative, a grant funded by the Grand Rapids Community Foundation to advance the institutionalization of community engaged teaching and learning into the departments curricula.

Each department received $5,000 dollars to plan, establish, implement, and evaluate strategic initiatives that will advance the integration of community-based teaching and learning into departmental curriculum and culture.

During the Fall semester, the Biology Department had nearly (250) students participate in community-based learning activities including (5) sections offering service learning and featured the Community Science Day serving over (400) community members.   The Exercise Science Department had 90 students participate in community-based learning activities including (7) sections offering service learning in addition to (50) participants at the Feeding America Make A Difference Day event and the (13) participants at the Ride for Refuge fundraising event.

Both departments are excited for the new ways they are connecting students to the community. If you are interested in learning more about the Engaged Department Initiative please visit or contact Michael Schavey, Director of Experiential Learning at 616-234-4180.

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Diversity Lecture Series features Benjamin Todd Jealous

Please join us as we celebrate 21 years of diverse voices at our Annual Diversity Lecture Series, Wednesday, February 17, featuring Benjamin Todd Jealous, Civil and Human Rights Leader, former NAACP President, Venture Capitalist and Author, “Mass Incarceration and Justice in America,” 7:00 p.m., Fountain Street Church, 24 Fountain Street NE. Free and open to all.

“Mass Incarceration and Justice in America”
Benjamin Todd Jealous, former NAACP president, recently joined the Silicon Valley venture capital firm Kapor Capital. Jealous says, “reforming the nation’s criminal justice systems is one of the most urgent civil right issues of our time. More African American men are entangled in the criminal justice system today than were enslaved in 1850.”