Student finds second chance at GRCC



Leah Nixon

Director of Communications

(616) 234-4213

April 18, 2016 GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. — Grand Rapids Community College's Secchia Institute for Culinary Education gave a grandmother a second chance at her big dreams.

Serina Anderson first attended GRCC in the 1990s.

"My goals back then were to get a business degree, further my education and someday open my own business," she said.

But her struggles with addiction derailed those plans. Over the next eight years, she raised a family and overcame her drug problem. Then she decided that it was time to take a new look at what her future could be.  She enrolled again at GRCC in 2010, determined to put everything she had into her culinary studies. Her efforts were rewarded: She has been on the Dean's List and received a scholarship through the Grand Rapids Community College Foundation last fall.

"All my instructors, chefs, SICE staff and all the faculty have tremendously pushed, encouraged, took time out for me and have really believed in me." Anderson said, adding that Dan Gendler, SICE program director and assistant professor, especially encouraged her to stick with her studies.

"Serina was determined to complete her degree," Gendler said. "She deserves all the credit for that, and I was so pleased to advise and help her create the best pathway for her."

Anderson will receive her Associate in Applied Arts and Sciences in Culinary Management and Restaurant Management during GRCC's commencement at 7 p.m. April 29 at the Van Andel Arena, 130 Fulton St. W.  She then plans to pursue a degree in hospitality management and, eventually, a master's.

Grand Rapids Community College has been offering educational opportunities in West Michigan for 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.