Battle Creek high school students earn scholarships through W.K. Kellogg Foundation partnership

six student headshots in a row, high school seniors
From left are Jonah Hurtado-Macias, Aubreanna Chaffee, Jacob Avalos, Dai'Mion Banks, Jose Hernandez-Chavez and Darryl Gee. They received scholarships through a partnership with BCPS and the W.K. Kellogg Foundation.
Image Credit: courtesy photos

Six high school seniors from Battle Creek interested in pursuing education, nursing or health professions received scholarships to attend Grand Valley in the fall through a partnership among the university, Battle Creek Public Schools and the W.K. Kellogg Foundation.

The Battle Creek Central High School students are Jacob Avalos, Dai'Mion Banks, Aubreanna Chaffee, Darryl Gee, Jose Hernandez-Chavez and Jonah Hurtado-Macias.

Through the BCPS Health and Teacher Education Pipeline Scholarship program, the students will receive funding to cover tuition, fees, housing and dining, plus a book stipend for eight semesters.

The scholarship program is part of a $15.5 million grant awarded in 2019 to Grand Valley by the W.K. Kellogg Foundation to partner with BCPS and transform education in the district.

President Philomena V. Mantella said the scholarship program is another tangible outcome of this transformative partnership.

“Throughout this partnership, we have talked about providing students in Battle Creek with opportunities to thrive,” Mantella said. "I am pleased these six students and many others were supported in pursuing their college dreams by taking advantage of advising and other important resources. We are excited they chose Grand Valley to begin their pathway to an education or health career."

La June Montgomery Tabron, president and CEO of the W.K. Kellogg Foundation in Battle Creek, said these six students exemplify the talent and dedication of BCPS students.

“Our partnership with BCPS and GVSU is focused on transforming education in Battle Creek so every student receives the educational foundation needed to succeed in college, career and life," Tabron said. "GVSU is already having a very significant impact by introducing children to career pathways that will lead them to employment in high-demand, high-paying industries.” 

Grand Valley officially opened the Battle Creek Regional Outreach Center in January. Other aspects of the grant include partnering with BCPS to offer professional development programs and mentorship to teachers; establishing a teacher education pipeline program for classroom assistants; and arranging for BCPS middle and high school students to attend GVSU summer camps focused on STEM and health care.

More information is online at