GRCC's Upward Bound program receives $50,000 from Mercantile Bank


Kathy Mullins

Executive Deputy to the President and Board Liaison


January 26, 2013 GRAND RAPIDS, MICH. — GRCC’s Upward Bound program is receiving continued corporate support as a $50,000 contribution from Mercantile Bank was announced today. Mercantile Bank representatives awarded the money during Mayor George Heartwell’s State of the City address today. The Upward Bound program at Grand Valley State University also received a $50,000 gift.

GRCC’s Upward Bound program at Creston and Ottawa Hills high schools gives students a chance to learn about college life while developing the skills in reading, writing, math, foreign language and science that are necessary for success.

“We are very grateful for this generous gift. Through funds dedicated to this program, we anticipate individual student progress to increase, thus an overall increase in program success,” said Raynard Ross, director of GRCC’s Upward Bound program.

“Today the Upward Bound program and its partners are recognized for their exemplary work with Creston and Ottawa Hills High Schools in the Grand Rapids school district,” said GRCC President Dr. Steven C. Ender. “I am proud to be here today celebrating Mercantile bank’s dedication to our community.”

This year, members of Upward Bound’s current senior class of 30 students have received acceptances from more than 150 colleges and universities around the country. This same group has also earned over $900,000 in renewable scholarships. In the past five years, 93 percent of Upward Bound participants have enrolled in college and 95 percent are working towards or have received a bachelor’s degree.

Grand Rapids Community College, established in 1914, offers opportunities for over 30,000 students annually in degree courses, certification and training programs, workshops and personal enrichment classes. GRCC holds classes on the downtown Grand Rapids campus as well as several additional locations throughout Kent and Ottawa counties.