individual portraits of Battle Creek Central High School students arranged in collage

Battle Creek seniors earn scholarships to GVSU through partnership with W.K. Kellogg Foundation

Nearly 20 seniors from Battle Creek Central High School received partial or full scholarships to attend Grand Valley in the Fall 2021 semester, spurred by the continuing partnership among the university, Battle Creek Public Schools and the W.K. Kellogg Foundation.

This is the second cohort of students to receive the BCPS Health and Teacher Education Pipeline Scholarships. In 2019, Grand Valley received a $15.5 million grant from the W.K. Kellogg Foundation to partner with BCPS and transform education in the district. Funding for the scholarship program comes from WKKF as additional support for students.

The students have expressed interest in pursuing education, nursing or health profession careers. Elias Dunakin, Abdul-qadir "Quadri" Jubril, Nani Leakehe, Eduardo Romero, Zadia Torres and Anahi Villeda received funding to cover tuition, fees, housing and dining, plus a book stipend for eight semesters. Eleven other students received partial, renewable scholarships.

Jean Nagelkerk, vice provost for health, said she is pleased to offer scholarships to such a large group of students.

"The first cohort of students from Battle Creek Central High School enjoyed their academic and co-curricular experiences at Grand Valley last year, despite challenges from the pandemic," Nagelkerk said. "These students, too, will be successful because of the services and resources in place to make sure that all incoming students are set up to flourish."

group of high school students, masked, standing outside Battle Creek Central High School
Pictured are Battle Creek Central High School students who earned scholarships to attend GVSU in the fall semester.
Image credit - Valerie Hendrickson
High school students work in a simulation lab
A new simulation lab opened at BCCHS last fall; it's similar to the lab at Cook-DeVos Center for Health Sciences.
Image credit - Valerie Hendrickson

A review committee selects students for the BCPS Health and Teacher Education Pipeline Scholarship. Noah Hollander, executive principal of BCCHS, said the scholarships open access to higher education. 

"For many of our scholars, this scholarship offers them the opportunity to tackle the college degree that they have the educational capacity to attain but may not have the financial capacity to fund," Hollander said. 

Eduardo Romero plans to major in education and has aspirations of becoming a teacher for English-language learners. "It's going to be a great experience since I just have to focus on my academics to be a teacher," Romero said. "I want to help students and other English language-learners, like my parents, in their education. GVSU will help me achieve this goal."

Nani Leakehe plans to major in nursing. She is taking a dual enrollment course through GVSU and participated in the GVSU EXCEL Program, a college prep camp for rising seniors. "The reason I wanted to go to Grand Valley was because of my experiences with the university. They want to see students succeed and have the resources to help make that happen," Leakehe said.

BCCHS Health Care Simulation Lab

Students at BCCHS have access to a state-of-the-art simulation lab. It opened last fall and is a state-approved training site for Certified Nursing Assistant and Emergency Medical Technician certification programs.

Many staff members from Grand Valley's Office of the Vice Provost for Health helped BCCHS with a grant application to secure funding for the simulation lab, which is similar to the lab at the Cook-DeVos Center for Health Sciences.


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