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Tag Archive | "GRCC"

Plainsong Farm and GRCC partner to provide students fresh produce

Ashley Fox, Student Resources Coordinator for GRCC, readies Plainsong Farm produce for curbside distribution.

More than one in three U.S. college students faces food insecurity every day. This problem is projected to worsen as the pandemic lingers into the school year and continues to particularly affect low-income and ethnic minority-households. According to a recent report from the American Psychological Association, students who are food insecure experience “significantly higher rates of depression, loneliness and anxiety.” They also have “lower self-esteem and lower grade-point averages and were more likely to withdraw from the university before earning their degrees.”  

To help address this critical community need, Plainsong Farm in Rockford has entered into a unique partnership with Grand Rapids Community College to provide students with farm-fresh produce at their campus food pantry. Ashley Fox, GRCC’s Student Resources Coordinator, says, “When we were linked with Plainsong, we were able to source food more consistently. It’s local, it’s fresh…it’s been hard to have enough for everybody!”  

Over the 2020 growing season, the farm was able to supply GRCC with 400 pounds of fresh produce, enabling the college to give it out to 20 students a week. But responding to student requests, both partners hope to do much more. During month of August, the Plainsong Farm GROW HOPE Campaign is raising $7,800 to purchase and install two additional hoophouses to expand their capacity and extend the short Michigan growing season. After these are at full production, Plainsong Farm will be able to triple their current contribution, providing the GRCC pantry enough produce to serve every student.

According to Nurya Love Parish, the farm’s Executive Director, “We need to get the hoophouses ordered by early September to install them this fall, extend the current growing season and start contributing earlier next spring.” Individuals who would like to donate to the Hoophouse Fund can send a check to GROW HOPE, Plainsong Farm, 6677 12 Mile Rd., Rockford, MI 49341. All donations are fully tax deductible. 

For more information about Plainsong-GRCC partnership and the GROW HOPE campaign, please contact Nurya Love Parish, Executive Director of Plainsong Farm, at nurya@plainsongfarm.com.

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Hometown Hero

Cameron Umphrey, US Marine Corp

Cameron Umphrey, the son of Mistie Bowser and the late Brett Bowser, and Michael and Kim Umphrey, all of Cedar Springs, Michigan, graduated from the United States Marine Corp, Hotel Co. 2nd Batallion, Platoon 2022 on March 2, 2018, at Parris Island, South Carolina.

Cameron deployed to boot camp on December 4, 2017 and began the rigorous mental and physical challenges of boot camp. He not only succeeded and completed boot camp but he also earned the Ironman Award, which lists him as the most physically fit Marine for his whole company, which was over 550 Marines with a score of 598 out of 600! This achievement along with others put him as an honor graduate and he was recognized at graduation by receiving the top award. Cameron also earned the rank of Private First Class and will continue to succeed and climb the ranks as he attends two more schools and then is assigned to a base. 

Cameron is a 2016 Cedar Springs High School graduate where he excelled in football, hockey, cross country and track.

He attended GRCC before enlisting in the Marines. 

“We are so proud of Cameron. He makes his family so proud and we love him so much!” said his mom, Mistie.

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Women’s Club awards scholarship

Allyson Marvel, a 2016 graduate of Cedar Springs High School, and sophomore at Aquinas College, is the 2017 recipient of the Cedar Springs Women’s Club scholarship.

by Sue Harrison

Every year since 1990, the Cedar Springs Women’s Club has awarded an annual scholarship to a female, of any age, who resides in the Cedar Springs Public School District who is considering any type of skill training or degree program. The award is given based on a competitive process that considers personal and academic achievement, as well as family, school or community activities.  The award is given without regard to race, creed, color, religion, or national origin.

The 2017 recipient of the Cedar Springs Women’s Club $1,000 Scholarship is Scholar Athlete, Allyson Marvel, a 2016 Cedar Springs High School graduate and sophomore at Aquinas College. Allyson was active in many clubs, sports and activities in high school, including vice president of the National Honor Society and captain in the Athletic Leadership Council. She also made the Dean’s List at GRCC when she attended there as a dual enrollment student, and is excelling at Aquinas while also doing pole vault in track and field.

In addition to receiving several other scholarships, Allyson is also making major contributions to her own college expenses by holding down two jobs while taking classes. She is majoring in Athletic Training and exploring all that the field has to offer.

“I find it very exciting to be able to help athletes and non-athletes in the future to become fit and healthy, pain free, and filled with life,” said Allyson.

At the June Women’s Club June meeting, Nancy Nielsen, member of the Women’s Club Scholarship Committee, presented Allyson with a certificate, a special poem presented to all recipients, an engraved pen, and her scholarship which will be sent to the college. Allyson’s mother, Lynn, was there to share the ceremony.

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Residents to vote on GRCC bond proposal Tuesday

Residents across Kent County will go to the polls Tuesday, May 8, to vote on whether to approve a $98,600,000 bond proposal for Grand Rapids Community College.

The proposal is for purchasing, remodeling, renovating, and constructing buildings to be used for the college (including the fieldhouse and other facilities); renovations of sites, and acquiring and installing technology infrastructure.

They propose the millage to be .38 mills per thousand for 2012, and will go no longer than 20 years. For someone owning a $100,000 home, that would be about $19 per year. They would capture $274,000 the first year.

Polls open at 8 a.m.

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GRCC on the Road

By Tom Noreen

Grand Rapids Community College President, Dr. Steven Ender, and key members of his staff met with community leaders in Cedar Springs at an informal breakfast meeting on April 23. Enders said, “This is the 8th or 9th meeting we have held since I became president. We are meeting with local school districts, business and community leaders to find out what their questions and concerns are about GRCC so we can learn how to best support them with our programs.” It will take two years to do the 20 districts in the county.

He started off by explaining that GRCC was experiencing continuous growth with applications up 53 percent overall. Enders attributed this to the economy, the need for retraining and the cost of education where people are looking, as they did in the 40s-60s at community colleges as the place to take the general education courses at a considerable savings.

Dr. Ender said that acquiring the old downtown campus of Davenport came at a great time to accommodate the growth. On May 18, GRCC will formally announce a $15 million capital campaign to renovate the Davenport campus and the two main GRCC buildings.

City Manager Chris Burns asked about teaching classes in this area. Provost Gilda Gely noted that GRCC had been teaching classes at the Rockford HS for a number of years. The goal was to provide all general education courses with a student load of 500.

“Rockford plays a big role for Cedar Springs students with undeclared majors,” added Donna Kragt, of GRCC.

CSHS Principal Ron Behrenwald then asked about teaching concurrent education courses in the high school. Gely replied that there was a program in place for such possibilities.

George Waite, GRCC Work Force Developer, discussed the many programs that give GRCC students hands-on experience. CS Police Chief Roger Parents said this was an important aspect of education and he did his best to take criminal justice majors whenever he could.

Dr. Enders closed by saying, “This is your community college. My message to take away is that we are only as good as you push us forward. We have been here almost 100 years and we plan to be here another 100. We exist to serve the entire county.”

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