Celebrating Black History at the ECLL

ECLL faculty member, Julie Sizemore, in partnership with Korie our family coach from ELNC created an event for children and families to learn about and celebrate the amazing contributions of Black artists.  

Children and caregivers explored books and art mediums of the featured artists including colorful collage making, painting, photography, music and quilt making.

After exploring and creating each child selected a book to bring home. Watching the children select books of the featured artists reinforced the importance of representation in the books and materials we provide young children. 

Learn From the Best: Jessica Pierce helps students earn career skills tuition free through MTEC Champions

Jessica Pierce smiling.

Jessica Pierce had no idea the true impact she could have on someone’s life when she came to GRCC. 

Pierce is the program manager for the MTEC Champions Program. A program that fast tracks students to enter the workforce. MTEC Champions allows underserved young adults aged 18 to 24 the opportunity to receive free training in any MTEC program that is 12 months or less. 

The program also offers services such as transportation assistance, mental health resources, and more. 

“By alleviating these barriers to education we help students gain meaningful experiences and careers,” Pierce said. 

Pierce loves seeing student’s success stories, and often gets to be a part of their story. She recalls one student who was unsure what they wanted to do with their career, or even how to go about it.

Through the Champions program the student was able to receive free training, as well as support while having a baby, and searching for a job after graduation. The student was also able to purchase their first home and now is pursuing a degree in healthcare. 

“It feels so good to know you helped make a difference in someone’s life, and that your work  is impacting the community,” Pierce said. 

Pierce’s career journey allows her to connect with students. 

Pierce entered the healthcare industry after graduating from St. Philip’s College. It wasn’t until five years ago that she stepped into the world of higher education.

“I realized I like to teach and to encourage learning, GRCC allowed me a space to merge my two passions together, healthcare and education,” Pierce said. 

Pierce came to GRCC to teach courses on employability skills in the Certified Nurse Aide program. Over time she has taken on more responsibility and now gets to help students on their own career journeys. 

Pierce encourages students to give themselves grace if they are unsure of their next steps. She pushes students to take advantage of all of the opportunities and resources available to them. 

“GRCC provides tons of resources to help you reach your goals. Know that the staff are here to support you and want to see you succeed,” Pierce said. 

More information about the M-TEC Champions Program is available here. 

More information about workforce training is available here.

Caring for yourself when there’s traumatic news

Your Employee Assistance Program- is available 24/7, 365 days a year.

Did you know? Your Employee Assistance Program is available 24/7, is CONFIDENTIAL and available to all employees (except student employees), their spouses and children living in their household.

We encourage all employees to take advantage of these services offered. EAPs deal with a variety of issues such as depression, anger management, anxiety and physical illness.

All EAP consultations and referrals are CONFIDENTIAL and the services are provided at no cost. You can access EAP services 24-hours, 7 day-a-week the hotline number is (800) 442-0809 or (616) 455-6210.

Pine Rest Resources:

EAP – A Guide to Your Benefits


Brockton Kohler’s season-high 29 points leads GRCC men’s basketball to win over Aquinas junior varsity

Brockton Kohler running down the court, bouncing a basketball, with two other players.

Brockton Kohler recorded a season-high 29 points to lead the Grand Rapids Community College men’s basketball team to its second win in as many nights with a 105-80 over Aquinas College’s junior varsity team.

“It was good to see the team respond with a dominant second half after struggling against AQ’s hot shooting in the first half,” head coach Joe Fox said. “Kohler had a great night on both ends, leading the team in scoring and steals. It’s great to see a sophomore playing great down the stretch. I was also happy to see every player score, and record an assist for the first time this season.”

GRCC jumped out to a 12-3 lead, but Aquinas fought back to take a 45-39 lead at the half.

The Saints lead increased to 13 just a minute and 26 seconds into the second half, but Jordan Houser gave GRCC the lead back with 11:13 on the clock.  GRCC did not trail for the remainder of the game, nearly scoring on every possession to cruise for the 25-point victory.

GRCC shot a stellar 65 percent in the second half, and finished 51 percent overall, including 41 percent from behind the arc. Kohler played a huge role in the efficient shooting by going 11-for-17 overall and 6-of-10 from three-point range.

All 12 players scored at least two points and had at least one assist.

Rico Wade, Danyel Bibbs, Chris Coleman and Bashir Neely all scored 10 points. Isaac Warning added eight points and a career-high five assists.

GRCC, now 17-7 overall, returns to conference play on Feb. 18 when the team travels to Alpena Community College. 

This story was reported by Ben Brown.  

GRCC In the News 02/17/2023

City presents water education events

2/16/23 Grand Rapids Magazine

The City of Grand Rapids will present two events designed to educate students on “their role as water stewards and champions.”

… The program, sponsored by the City of Grand Rapids and Grand Rapids Community College, is funded by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency. The City also partners with GRCC in administering water and wastewater treatment programs and a Public Works Academy training program for jobs related to municipal water, wastewater treatment, public works, clean energy and river restoration projects.

Dancing with the Local Stars fundraiser returns with ‘Fabulous 50′s’ theme to help food pantries

2/16/23 MLive

MUSKEGON, MI – Dancing with the Local Stars is returning to downtown Muskegon next week with a 1950s-themed show for the organization’s 15th annual event.

… Professional dancers featured include:

… Patrick Johnson, President & CEO of West Michigan Flight Academy, Co-owner of PT Arts, LLC Performing Arts Consulting, Retired Dance Faculty at Grand Rapids Community College, 15-year participant

A Dexter welding student is State Championship bound

2/16/23 The Sun Times News (Washtenaw County)

It’s on to the state championship for local welder and Dexter High School student Mikala Sposito.

… Sposito is excited about the next challenge as she’s prepares for the state competition that will take place in April at Grand Rapids Community College.