68 GRCC students receive $357,994 in Spectrum Health scholarships
GRAND RAPIDS, Mich., Nov. 13, 2018 —Sixty-eight Grand Rapids Community College students interested in health sciences or health careers are receiving scholarships through a partnership with Spectrum Health.
GRCC and Spectrum Health celebrated the awarding of $357,994.43 in scholarships with a reception Nov. 12.
Spectrum Health created the Spectrum Health Care Professionals Education Scholarship in 2016 to assist students interested in health sciences or health careers. This year, need-based scholarships, ranging from $3,000 to $4,000, went to students in GRCC’s Associate Degree Nursing, Practical Nursing, Occupational Therapy Assistant, Radiologic Technology and — for the first time — Medical Assisting programs.
“These scholarships are a perfect example of a community collaboration that changes lives,” said Kathryn K. Mullins, vice president for college advancement and executive director of the Grand Rapids Community College Foundation. “We’re helping students gain opportunities for a great education, and also preparing them for rewarding careers in health care that will help people for years to come.”
Yahntea Weaver has always wanted to work in medicine. Right after high school, she began working as a resident aide and then entered GRCC’s Certified Nurse Assistant program. As she finished up that training in February, she learned about the Medical Assisting program and knew it would be the perfect next step.
But as the single mother to 2-year-old Prince, she didn’t want to take on loans to pay for the program. The Spectrum Health Care Professionals Education Scholarship meant that she could start her MA training immediately and still take care of her family expenses.
“Without the scholarship, I wouldn’t have been able to join this program right away,” said Weaver, who also works full time. “I didn’t have to pay out of pocket at all. Being a full-time mom, that’s a huge help.”
Weaver looks forward to starting work as a medical assistant, but she already knows what her next step will be: studying to be a registered nurse.
“My biggest motivation is my son,” she said. “Without him, I would have quit a few times, but I want to do this for him.”
Spectrum leaders said the program helps students like Weaver while making West Michigan stronger.
“Spectrum Health is committed to supporting students at GRCC and to encouraging those interested in health care careers,” said Tina Freese Decker, president and CEO of Spectrum Health. “Our ongoing partnership with GRCC helps strengthen the economic health of the communities we serve and ensures a pipeline of skilled talent for the future.”
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.
Spectrum Health, a not-for-profit, integrated health system, is committed to improving the health and wellness of our communities. We live our mission every day with 31,000 compassionate professionals, 4,200 medical staff experts, 3,200 committed volunteers and a health plan serving 1 million members. Our talented physicians and caregivers are privileged to offer a full continuum of care and wellness services to our communities through 14 hospitals, including Helen DeVos Children’s Hospital, 230 ambulatory sites and telehealth offerings. We pursue health care solutions for today and tomorrow that diversify our offerings. Locally-governed and based in Grand Rapids, Michigan, our health system provided $459 million in community benefit in the last fiscal year. Thanks to the generosity of our communities, we received $30 million in philanthropy in the most recent fiscal year to support research, academics, innovation and clinical care. Spectrum Health has been recognized as one of the nation’s 15 Top Health Systems by Truven Health Analytics®, part of IBM Watson HealthTM.