GRCC degree is family tradition for one graduate



Leah Nixon

Director of Communications

(616) 234-4213

April 19, 2017 GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. — For one student, attending Grand Rapids Community College has become a family tradition.

When Alejandra Ledesma decided to become a teacher, she knew where her education would start: GRCC.

"GRCC has been a significant part of my family," she said. "While our family grew, with two beautiful daughters, my husband was still able to complete his undergraduate degree and graduate degree because of the options at GRCC through Ferris State University.

"Going to GRCC was a 'no-brainer' when I decided to finish my degree."

Of course, juggling work and family along with her studies was challenging, at times, for this busy mom. When she need help and advice, she turned to her "experts": Child Development program leader Rebecca Brinks, faculty members Tricia Siegel and Keri Davis, and preschool instructors Andrew Wolinski and Penny Folsom.

Brinks said Ledesma will be "truly an asset" to the early childhood field.

"Like many of our students, she has a lot on her plate, but she always brings enthusiasm and a positive outlook to everything she does," Brinks said. "Her desire to learn and become the excellent preschool teacher she it has been evident both in the college classroom and with the children and families at the Early Childhood Learning Laboratory."

Ledesma will receive her associate degree at commencement, which takes place 7 p.m. April 28 at Ford Fieldhouse, 226 Lyon St. NE. She plans to transfer to Ferris State University to earn a bachelor's degree. 

"My goal is to be a second-grade teacher, bilingual in English and Spanish, and be the difference I’ve longed to see," she said.

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.