Justin ArnoldView all stories
Life had not started easy for Justin Arnold. After going through foster care and homelessness, he worked at a manufacturing job through his early twenties to support himself and his young family. He realized, however, that he had more to offer West Michigan than he could on this path. Arnold enrolled in Muskegon Community College and found out about the School of Public, Nonprofit, and Health Administration at Grand Valley State University through a Grand Valley liaison. When he received the Jack Kent Cooke Foundation’s Undergraduate Transfer Scholarship in 2010, he chose to use the prestigious scholarship to attend Grand Valley for nonprofit administration.
“Grand Valley really was the best fit for me. I really wanted to make a big difference in West Michigan, and felt that majoring in nonprofit administration at Grand Valley would be the way to achieve this,” said Arnold
Arnold has continued to demonstrate his passion for leadership at Grand Valley by being nominated as a Leadership Fellow at the Ralph A. Hauenstein Center for Presidential Studies. “Being a Leadership Fellow, combined with my education at Grand Valley, has really given me a great foundation to jump off from. It has allowed me to participate in the 2011 class of Leadership West Michigan and galvanized me to start my own business, ThinkCivic.com. I deeply value my Grand Valley education.”
When Arnold received the Student Legacy Scholarship, he was struck by the generosity of students who had come before him. “When I become financially stable, I will make sure to give back to scholarships like this so that students like me have a chance to get a great education. This is a value that I hold and am passing on to my children.”