Students credit Battle Creek pipeline program with helping them transition to college life
September 13, 2022 (Volume 46, Number 2)
Jacob Avalos, a peer mentor for the Battle Creek pipeline program,
addresses other students during a September 2 luncheon at the Kirkhof Center.
President Philomena V. Mantella welcomes three cohorts of Battle
Creek students who received scholarships through this program.
Pictured is Estefany Paniagua-Pardo, career navigator for the Battle
Creek Regional Outreach Center.
First-year student Lalro Mawii was pleased with how her first week of
classes went and she credited a pipeline program for helping her feel
comfortable on campus.
Mawii was one of 12 students from Battle Creek Central High School
selected last year for the Battle
Creek Public Schools Health and Teacher Education Pipeline
Scholarship program. Now in the program's third year, students
will receive funding to cover tuition, fees, housing and dining, plus
a book stipend for eight semesters.
"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.
This article was last edited on September 8, 2022 at 12:6 p.m.