Seniors stand in support of citizens for ‘our community college’

Senior citizens and middle-aged workers all around Kent County are coming together in support of the GRCC Yes Campaign for “our community college.” Senior citizens and middle-aged workers join local elected officials, labor organizations, public safety officials, Republicans and Democrats in the large and growing list of individuals and organizations urging Kent County residents to vote yes on this important proposal.

The 20-year bond will levy 0.35 mills that would cost the average home owner just $26 per year or about $2 per month to provide essential warm, safe and dry infrastructure improvements. Capital improvements that will bring the college 21st century learning and teaching environments.

June Campbell is the facilitator of the Grand Rapids Community College (GRCC) Older Learning Center (OLC), a program open to all seniors in the community. She became involved with the program at the active age of 70.

“Today, I am an 83-year-old college student at the OLC and I love it! I’ve enjoyed our community college’s computer classes and now I run them,” Campbell said.

Now Campbell can teach others how to go to the GRCCYES Facebook page and GRCCYES.org.

“I may be on a fixed income, but I can afford two dollars a month to support our community college,” Campbell added.

Middle-aged workers and senior citizens like Campbell count on GRCC due to loss of jobs or retirement savings during the current economic recession. GRCC offers an affordable, accessible opportunity for individuals to get trained, get back to work and earn a living.

Kevin Smith, certified personal trainer and owner of Smith Strength & Conditioning, was one of these students. “After almost thirty years in my profession, my position was eliminated. I was out of work and ready for a change. At 57 years old, our community college was there for me when I needed to get training to launch my new career,” said Smith. “Thanks to GRCC’s programs and instructors, I now own my own business. GRCC worked for me. Please join me in voting yes!”

GRCC also worked for 50-year-old Bruce Rexford of Kentwood. He commented, “I went to school at GRCC after losing my job at ROWE AMI after 30 years of building juke boxes and dollar bill changers. I took the automotive program and after graduation got right into a job.”

GRCC worked for Campbell, Smith, Rexford and countless other older students. They are part of the more than 500,000 individuals from every community in Kent County who have received an education from Grand Rapids Community College. And they are all standing up to support the GRCC millage because they want to see the college serve the generations of the next 100 years.

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