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Grand Rapids Promise Zone program announces first graduate from GRCC

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Posted at 11:49 AM, Mar 24, 2021
and last updated 2021-03-24 15:15:16-04

GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. — Mykel Johnson became the first student to graduate from GRCC through the Grand Rapids Promise Zone scholarship earlier this month.

He now plans to use the skills he gained for a career as an automotive technician, according to a news release Wednesday.

The Promise Zone scholarship provides free access to higher education for eligible students who live in the City of Grand Rapids and graduate from one of 24 public, public charter or private high schools located within the city limits.

Launched in early 2020, the Promise Zone Authority partnered with Grand Rapids Community College for the program.

RELATED: GR Promise Zone scholarship approved by state

Johnson attended City High, Wellspring Academy and the Grand Rapids Learning Center over the course of his high school career.

He used Promise Zone to complete GRCC’s automotive technician program within a year of his high school graduation.

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Johnson’s father is a mechanic and realized automotive technology is an in-demand career.

“I was around cars every day with my father,” he said. “I watched him build a truck from nothing, and I said, ‘I’ve got to do the same thing.’”

More than 250 students enrolled in GRCC’s programs through Promise Zone for the Fall 2020 semester.

“The Promise Zone is off to a great start, providing opportunities for students to gain an education that will change their life without worrying about the cost,” GRCC President Bill Pink said. “This is an awesome example of a community coming together to make higher education accessible to all. This will have long-term benefits for Grand Rapids and West Michigan as a whole.”