GRCC student Jodi Holland was “completely shocked” to pick up her phone and hear Michigan Lt. Gov. Garlin Gilchrist II on the other end.
“I know he had been getting over COVID, and the first thing I said was, ‘Are you OK? How are you feeling?”
Gilchrist assured Holland he was feeling better, congratulated her on making the Dean’s List, then thanked her for allowing Gov. Gretchen Whitmer to tell Holland’s story during Wednesday’s State of the State Address.
Holland, 59, is using the Michigan Reconnect program to attend GRCC with a goal of becoming a professional baker.
Michigan Reconnect is a state scholarship program providing free in-district tuition for those ages 25 and older who don’t already have a college degree.
“We eliminated the cost barrier for 170,000 Michiganders, who are getting skills and better-paying jobs through Michigan Reconnect and Futures for Frontliners. These programs boost our economy and empower our people,” Whitmer said in the address.
“People like Caroline, a former in-home care provider, and mom of 2 who got straight As her first semester at Mott Community College. And Jodi, a Reconnect recipient—the first of 8 siblings to go to college—she’s on the dean’s list at Grand Rapids Community College. These programs have given them opportunity and opened new doors for their families. I want them to know we’re all rooting for them.”
During the Winter 2022 semester, 1,075 students at GRCC are enrolled through Michigan Reconnect, and 1,457 are attending through Future for Frontliners, which covers tuition for people who served in essential roles during the state’s COVID shutdown.