Two GVSU outreach programs receive state funding to expand services

Two outreach programs from Grand Valley received Michigan Department of Education grants to expand programming to serve more students after school hours and during the summer.

TRIO Upward Bound received $286,080 to serve 120 more high school students in West Michigan and Detroit. One of 11 federally funded TRIO programs at GVSU, Upward Bound provides support and opportunities for participants to succeed in their precollege performance and ultimately in their higher education pursuits. The grant covers four Upward Bound programs: UB in Detroit and Grand Rapids and UB Math-Science in Detroit and Wyoming

The Regional Math and Science Center received $28,800 to support more K-12 students who want to attend GVSU's STEM summer camp programs.

large group sitting and standing near the GVSU letters
Upward Bound students and staff are pictured on the Allendale Campus during a summer camp. The TRIO program received a state grant to expand its services.

Joshua Brandsen, director of TRIO Upward Bound Grand Rapids, said the grant expands programming to serve a total of 400 students at high schools in Detroit, Wyoming and Grand Rapids. The money will go toward increasing student experiences, creating new academic partnerships, and hiring more college students to serve as tutors and counselors during a six-week Upward Bound summer camp on the Allendale Campus, according to Bonnie Jaracz, UB GR Program Coordinator

Nykia Gaines, assistant vice president for Federal TRIO Programs, said, “Expanding access to these 120 first-generation students means that their lives will be positively enriched by being on a college campus and knowing that they belong and have a place in higher education.”

young students in blue t-shirts are wearing protective eye gear and looking closely at something
Students are pictured at an RMSC summer camp. The outreach program received state grant money to expand access to its summer camps.
Image credit - Luis Fernandez
three students around lab table with propeller blades
Students participate in an activity during an Energize Our World camp, sponsored by the Regional Math and Science Center.

Chelsea Ridge, interim co-director of the Regional Math and Science Center, said the grant money will also be used, in part, to hire more college students to serve as camp staff. RMSC collaborates with Grand Valley's Padnos College of Engineering and Computing to offer six summer camps for various grade levels.

B. Donta Truss, vice president for Enrollment Development and Educational Outreach, said expanding access to Grand Valley's programs aligns with the university's mission.

"These programs are just one way Grand Valley lifts any barriers to education and helps students be more prepared for the rigors of college," Truss said. "Expanding the number of students who participate in outreach programs also expands their knowledge of what being on a college campus is like. We hope to grow those connections throughout high school until these students step onto our campus as Lakers."

These state grants were funded by the Michigan Department of Lifelong Education, Advancement and Potential, in partnership with the Michigan Department of Education.

students and staff are pictured on the steps of the Detroit Center
Students from the Upward Bound Detroit program are pictured on the steps of the Detroit Center. In front, from left are UB Detroit staff Mikal O’Neal, Katie Zvonek, Adam Harris, B. Donta Truss, Nykia Gaines, Whitney Thomas and Yamah Bah’Deh.


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