"I had a great first week of classes," Mawii said.
"There are a lot of people here to support me, including past
cohorts of students. We talk a lot about resources on campus and that
helped ease the stress, especially about what to expect in college classes."
All three cohorts of scholars were invited to a kickoff luncheon
September 2 in the Kirkhof Center. President Philomena V. Mantella
welcomed students and said the program aligns with the Reach Higher 2025
"This program has a special place in our hearts," Mantella
said. "GVSU is not only a West Michigan university community. We
serve all citizens of the state by providing access to students who
might otherwise not have the means to enroll in college."
Jacob Avalos, a junior, was in the first cohort of students to
receive the pipeline scholarship. He said the program, supported by
Grand Valley's Battle
Creek Regional Outreach Center, was a tremendous help as he
learned to navigate campus. Now it's his turn to give back; Avalos is
a peer mentor in the program, added this year as another layer of
support for students.
"I knew almost everyone in my cohort," Avalos said.
"Now, I want to be able to help others as they come up."
The scholarship program stems from a 2019 partnership among Grand
Valley, Battle Creek Public Schools and the W.K. Kellogg Foundation.
Grand Valley received a $15.5 million grant from WKKF to partner with
BCPS and transform education in the district. Funding for the
scholarship program comes from WKKF as additional support for students.