New Grand Rapids Promise Zone director Ashlee Mishler has spent career connecting students to life-changing opportunities

Ashlee Mishler smiling.

Ashlee Mishler has spent her career connecting students to life-changing opportunities, experiences she plans to lean on as Grand Rapids Community College’s new Promise Zone director.

Mishler started in the role last month, overseeing Grand Rapids Promise Zone scholarships, which eliminate cost as a barrier to a quality GRCC education for eligible students. About 400 students are using the scholarships to attend GRCC this semester.

Mishler is the point of contact for prospective students and families who want to learn about the Promise Zone, and will continue helping students once they start attending GRCC.

“They can work with me if they just have questions about GRCC all the way through their time as a student,” she said. “While they will have a team of staff who will assist them at various points of the process, they are always welcome to connect with me.

“Knowing the impact my college experience had on me and helping students shape their own experience is what I love most. Students who didn’t think college was for them, or maybe had different plans, helping those students realize that college is for them is really exciting.”

The Promise Zone scholarship is available for students who live within the city of Grand Rapids and graduate from one of the 25 public, public charter, or private high schools located within the city limits. The program covers the cost of tuition and other expenses for GRCC’s associate degree and job training and certification programs.

Eligible students have five years to access these funds from the time they graduate high school. Once enrolled, they must take at least six credits a semester. Students who opt to attend a different college or university can still use the Promise Zone scholarship as a GRCC guest student during the summer semesters.

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