GAAH students get taste of Laker life

 Jeff Chamberlain, director of the Frederik Meijer Honors College, talks to the group.
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Jeff Chamberlain, director of the Frederik Meijer Honors College, talks to the group.
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A group of middle and high school students got to see what life is like as a Laker during a recent overnight visit at Grand Valley. 

Students and their parents from Grandville Avenue Arts and Humanities spent two days, July 19-20, getting to know campus and learning about the university. GAAH serves the Latin@ community in the Grandville Avenue neighborhood by promoting academic achievement and creativity. 

Melissa Baker-Boosamra, associate director for Student Life, helped facilitate the group's visit. She said the program is part of an ongoing effort to recruit and retain promising Latin@ students. 

The group of about 30 people spent the night at the Niemeyer Learning and Living Center, home of the Frederik Meijer Honors College. They heard from a panel of speakers from the Admissions Office and learned about the Honors College and Laker Familia — an orientation program that welcomes incoming Latino students and their family members. They visited classrooms, the Rec Center, and took a tour of campus. 

Jeff Chamberlain, director of the Honors College, said the group's visit fits with the college's commitment to equal access to higher education. The partnership began last summer when a student completed an internship at GAAH and brought students from the program to Grand Valley. 

"We saw an opportunity for greater intentional and consistent involvement. We're working in various ways in the community to help improve preparedness for students on many different levels," said Chamberlain. 

The program was organized by the Community Service Learning Center, Inclusion and Equity, Frederik Meijer Honors College, Admissions, Laker Familia, Office of Multicultural Affairs, Latin@ Student Union and the Latin@ Faculty and Staff Association.