My GRCC Story: At 70, Penelope Jones taps Futures for Frontliners to plan for her ‘next’

Penelope Jones smiling

When Penelope Jones saw the chance for a tuition-free degree at Grand Rapids Community College, she knew she had to take it.

Never mind she’s 70 years old.

“My whole life, I always wanted to go to college. So, when I heard about Futures for Frontliners, I knew if I didn’t walk through that door, it might never be open again,” said Jones, a Kentwood grandmother of five.

Futures for Frontliners is a state scholarship program for Michiganders who worked frontline jobs in essential industries during the state’s COVID-19 shutdown. The scholarship provides eligible frontline workers with free in-district tuition to pursue an associate degree or a certificate at their local community college.

Futures for Frontliners and Michigan Reconnect have proven wildly popular for West Michigan adult learners. At GRCC, 24% of students this fall — 3,017 out of 12,685 — are enrolled in the scholarship programs.

Jones qualified for the free tuition because she worked at a local FedEx office facility throughout the pandemic.

But she’s certainly no stranger to hard work. Her hefty resume includes a lifetime of work with Grand Rapids-area nonprofits, businesses, a municipality and a hospital, among others. Her longtime husband, Eric D. Jones Sr., was pastor of the former Agape Christian Ministries International, where she also worked. Together, they raised three sons.

See Full Article

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s