GRCC becomes graduate’s first step to her future



Leah Nixon

Director of Communications

(616) 234-4213

April 19, 2017 GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. — Grand Rapids Community College was the valuable first step that a first-generation student has taken to her future.

Isabel Vargas planned to attend Grand Valley State University, but she had second thoughts shortly after her high school graduation.

"I realized that I was not ready for that big step in my life," she said. "I was afraid to go straight into GVSU. I wanted to first get a feeling of what it was like to take college courses, and I wanted to get familiar with all the resources that were out there to help me succeed."

One of Vargas' biggest resources was TRIO/Student Support Services, a federal program that works with first-generation college students. 

"TRIO/Student Support Services has been a blessing in my college experience," she said. "Being a part of this program opened so many doors for me and taught me so much."

Vargas has made the Dean's List and was inducted in Phi Theta Kappa, the honor society for community colleges. She will receive an associate degree at commencement, which takes place 7 p.m. April 28 at Ford Fieldhouse, 226 Lyon St. NE. 

She knows she's ready for that next big step: She plans to transfer to GVSU this fall for a bachelor's degree in accounting.

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, and at several locations throughout Kent and Ottawa counties, as well as through distance learning.