Charter Alumni Spotlight: Collin Louis
October 06, 2020
Each month, the GVSU Charter Schools Office will spotlight a
current GVSU student who attended and/or graduated from a
GVSU-authorized charter public school.
This month, we are pleased to introduce you to Collin Louis. Collin is a senior at GVSU studying biomedical sciences with a premed emphasis. His goal is to one day have a career in pediatrics, whether as a doctor or a surgeon. Prior to coming to GVSU, Collin was a student at Vanguard Charter Academy and Grand River Preparatory High School (both authorized by GVSU).
Collin is a very active member of the GVSU community. He is a part of numerous student organizations including the Black Student Union, Black Excellence and Impact the Movement. He also is the chapter president of Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity Inc. Collin has assisted the GVSU CSO with its charter-to-college programs by providing campus tours and mentorship to K-12 charter public school students. This semester, he will also offer homework help to younger students through GVSU’s new tutoring service, K-12 Pathways.
Collin was recognized earlier this year by Campus Compact for Michigan for his dedication to volunteer service. He is the current vice president for Grand Rapids NAACP Youth Council and works closely with that organization on voter registration and voter advocacy. He is a NextGen Fellow, seeking to increase voter engagement in the Grand Valley and surrounding Grand Rapids communities, and has led water drives for residents of Flint and clothing drives for the Children's Advocacy Center.
Collin sat down with us to share a little more about how his experience at his charter public schools have impacted his time at GVSU.
When did you first become interested in GVSU?
I really started learning about GVSU when I was in middle school at Vanguard Charter Academy. At that time, we were already having a lot of on-campus experiences and I really loved the idea of going to a school that I would be familiar with by the time I got there.
What were some of the things you learned/did at GR Prep that prepared you for GVSU?
I had chance to be in a mentorship program where I would help
first-year students prepare for what to expect. That really helped me
grow from a leadership aspect. It also gave me the tools to be
successful once I left GR Prep, even down to things like having a good
sense of time management.
What is one piece of advice you’d give current students at GR Prep?
Focus on the curve. What I mean by that is it’s not how you start,
it’s how you finish, so make sure you are trending upward by the time
you leave. I had to correct some early mistakes and work hard to
rebuild myself up. If you have that intentional focus from your first
year, you’ll be good to go.
Where there any teachers/staff at GR Prep that stood out to you? Why?
Like I said, I faltered a bit when I first started school there.
There was a teacher at the time who became really involved in my life
through my attachment to basketball. He used my passion for basketball
as a way to support me to do well off the court too. It really showed
me that there are plenty of teachers who truly care about your
well-being. I’ve always kept that in mind at GVSU; I go to professors’
office hours because I know that they are ready to help me succeed
How has GVSU helped you move closer to your career and personal goals?
The structure and rigor have helped me feel prepared for the next
step. I also have noticed the high level of community that is here and
more student interaction as compared to other schools. GVSU also
provides you with many of the resources you may need to navigate
What has been a highlight of your time at GVSU?
Becoming the chapter president of the fraternity. I’ve made so many great connections and met other people who are part of the health care field. The recognition from the award was also great. And also the opportunities to help the students who are coming in to GVSU get a feel for their first year here.