Doug and Maria DeVos Foundation awards grant to GRCC’s Cruisin’ to College program

Feb. 15, 2017 GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. — Grand Rapids Community College's Summer Learning Academy has been awarded a grant from the Doug and Maria DeVos Foundation to expand its work and assist more students.

The academy's Cruisin' to College program provides Grand Rapids Public Schools sophomores and juniors with summer math instruction that allows them to bypass remedial classes at GRCC.

"We are grateful to Believe 2 Become and the Doug and Maria DeVos Foundation for their strong support for the work of the Cruisin' to College program," said David Selmon, GRCC's Associate Dean of Academic Outreach. "This larger grant will allow us to help more students take those first important steps toward their dreams of college and a satisfying career."

“Based on GRCC’s strong performance in the last three years, we are delighted to be able to deepen our partnership with the college,” said Tasha Cruz, the foundation program officer who oversees the Summer Learning Academy initiative. “This is a win not only for students and the college, but for the broader community. We all benefit when students take advantage of opportunities to strengthen their own gifts, knowledge, skills, and expertise in order to contribute to a stronger and well-rounded city.”

GRPS counselors and teachers identify eligible students who would benefit from the Cruisin' to College program. After the students take an initial test, they are assigned to a Success Coach. The eight-week program provides math instruction in the mornings with college preparation and career exploration —   including college visits and job-shadowing opportunities — in the afternoons. If you’re interested in the program, contact Lorena Aguayo-Marquez at (616) 234-3874 or

"The Cruisin' to College program prepares students not only for college-level math courses but for the entire college experience," Selmon said. "We are proud to have our work recognized and supported."

“Community support is key to the success of programs like the Summer Learning Academy,” said Kathryn Mullins, Vice President for College Advancement and Executive Director of the Grand Rapids Community College Foundation. "Support from philanthropic organizations enables us to expand college preparation opportunities to high school sophomores and juniors. We are grateful to the Doug and Maria DeVos Foundation for its commitment to not only Grand Rapids Community College, but to the community we serve."

Grand Rapids Community College has been offering educational opportunities in West Michigan for more than 100 years. Established in 1914, the college offers degree courses, certification and training programs, and workshops and personal enrichment classes. Offerings are held on GRCC’s downtown Grand Rapids campus, at several locations throughout Kent and Ottawa counties, and through distance learning.

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