tables in a gymnasium with people seated around them; head table has blue drapes with GVSU logo. Bleachers in background are blue with large gold B and C showing

Battle Creek organizations show support for city students through two partnerships with GVSU

Support for Battle Creek high school students to attend Grand Valley without financial burden was evident in that city this week as new pipeline scholars were introduced and an organization announced an innovative scholarship program.

Twelve seniors from Battle Creek Central High School were welcomed as new Lakers during a luncheon May 16. 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.

On May 17, the Kellogg Company announced a scholarship program for graduating Battle Creek Central High School seniors that will provide a pathway to a full-time role in finance at Kellogg, after graduating from either Grand Valley or Siena Heights University. 

BCPS Health and Teacher Education Pipeline Scholarship program

The 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.

At the luncheon, Arelis Diaz, director of the office of the president for WKKF, said the foundation's investment in students is rooted in its mission of building leaders through education.

"Our vision is for you to go to Grand Valley with this scholarship and maybe come back to Battle Creek and be part of the change that is happening right here," Diaz said.

woman standing talking with three students, also standing in a gymnasium
At left, Arelis Diaz, director of the office of the president for WKKF, talks with students at the GVSU/BCPS Pipeline Scholar Luncheon.
Image credit - Amanda Pitts
woman at podium introducing man to her right, another woman is at far right at table
Jean Nagelkerk, special assistant to the provost, introduces Kevin Holohan, assistant professor of education. Nagelkerk and Holohan are co-principal investigators for the WKKF grant. Kimberly Carter, BCPS superintendent, is at far left.
Image credit - Amanda Pitts
student at podium with woman looking on, seated at her left.
Aubreanna Chaffee, current GVSU student and pipeline scholar, speaks during the luncheon May 16 at Battle Creek Central High School.
Image credit - Amanda Pitts

Current Grand Valley students who received the same scholarship met the newest cohort to offer advice. Alaysha Cannon, a sophomore who is studying biomedical sciences, urged students to use tutoring services, join student organizations and be involved on campus.

Lalro Mawii will be a first-year student in the Fall semester. Mawii said she is interested in studying radiation therapy. "I'm so grateful for this opportunity," she said. "It allows us to pursue our goals without any financial burden."

The cohort of 12 students will join 16 other BCPS pipeline scholars on campus. 

Kellogg Finance Scholars program

In partnership with Battle Creek Public Schools, Kellogg Community College, Siena Heights and Grand Valley, the Kellogg Company program aims to promote education and advancement in Battle Creek, while also exposing local students to a career in finance. The program is open to Battle Creek Central High School seniors enrolled in the business pathway program at the BCCHS Career Academy of Business, Engineering and Industrial Technology.

"The competition for corporate talent is fierce and not likely to get easier anytime soon," said Jennifer Cloherty, Kellogg North America's chief financial officer. "We want to help develop local, diverse talent that will stay local. Kellogg Finance Scholars program not only benefits local students and the community, but it boosts our recruitment efforts for smart, committed, diverse candidates in the field of finance."

Up to three Kellogg Finance Scholars will receive a two-year scholarship to study business management or accounting at Kellogg Community College. After earning an associate degree, the scholars will be eligible for a paid summer internship at Kellogg, followed by a scholarship to either Grand Valley or Siena Heights University to complete their bachelor's degree in business management. 

Diana Lawson, dean of the Seidman College of Business, said the college is pleased to be a partner in this innovative program.

"The program opens access to education and matches our mission, which is grounded in community collaborations and innovative approaches to learning," Lawson said.


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