The eighth annual Creating Connections breakfast sponsored by the Grand Rapids Community College Foundation was held Feb. 18. This event allows for recipients to meet and personally thank scholarship donors.
During this event two recipients, Blake Marvin and Yolanda Ramirez received several scholarships. Blake Marvin is the recipient of the GRCC Foundation Scholarship, Lotte Peters Scholarship, Phillip Runkel Family Teachers of Tomorrow Scholarship and the Wege Teacher of Tomorrow Scholarship, and Yolanda Ramirez is the recipient of the Harvey Olsen Scholarship.
Marvin said he was grateful to be a recipient of four scholarships.
“(I am) absolutely honored that all of these different donors saw my worthiness and put forth such a gracious donations,” Marvin said.
At the Creating Connections breakfast, Ramirez said how grateful she was to be a scholarship recipient. She talked about how her family’s impact and struggles has provided her motivation to better herself. When she begins to fill out college applications, both finances and not being a United States born citizen became an obstacle.
“It wasn’t until I turned 17… getting ready to fill out college applications, that I realized that my dreams of receiving a college education and obtaining a degree was not going to be easy and began to seem almost impossible,” Ramirez said. “It was here that I discovered that even with the difficulties of paying for college education and after I graduated I would not be allowed to carry a career in my field for the simple fact that I was not born in the country.”
The Foundation provided $617,552 in 2016, which was then distributed through scholarships to 572 GRCC students.
“This year for the first time the scholarship awarding process is online,” said Vice President of College Advancement and Executive Director of GRCC Foundation Kathryn Mullins. “Students can go directly online to apply for scholarships so they fill out one application and based on that application it will show them all the scholarships they qualify for…”
Mullins encouraged GRCC students to apply for scholarships. Many middle class students who are ineligible to receive Pell Grants due to family income overcompensate by taking student loans. This results in students owing thousands of dollars in loan debt when many could reduce their college expenses by applying for scholarships. Mullins said she hopes more students will qualify for student loans to assist with financial needs.
GRCC students interested in applying for a scholarship could go to GRCC Financial Aid & Scholarship website and click the “Scholarship opportunity” tab. There will be a highlighted “Apply here” link. After going to the link, students must enter their Blackboard login and password.
The GRCC Foundation will also be hosting two upcoming events to raise money for scholarships. Night at the Phantom will be held May 17 at the GRCC Applied Technology Center. Tickets are $150 and $200 for V.I.P. A Scholarship Golf Outing will be held from noon.-7 p.m. May 25 at the Thousand Oaks Golf Club. The tickets include golfing and dinner, and will cost $150.