Glen Oaks Community College News Article (generic - no featured image)

Benefactor adds to his Ernest R. Graham Upward Bound Scholarship

A retired Chicago electrician living in Three Rivers is making an impact on education one student at a time. Ernest R. Graham established the Ernest R. Graham Upward Bound scholarship with a generous donation to the Glen Oaks Community College Foundation in 2009. Two local students have benefitted thus far from Mr. Graham’s gift. Shayla Jourdan of Sturgis was the 2009-2010 recipient and Luther Jordan of Three Rivers was the 2010-2011 recipient.

Now, in the early weeks of the fall 2010 semester, Mr. Graham has made another donation to the Glen Oaks Foundation to supplement his initial amount. The money will enhance the yearly award amount given to students attending Glen Oaks. Janene Breneman, Executive Director of the GOCC Foundation, said Mr. Graham was raised with the stern understanding from his parents that it’s essential to get an education. “Mr. Graham worked as an electrician in the Chicago area until his retirement in 1982. He was the first African American to hold the position for the city,” said Breneman. Mr. Graham is involved in community projects and is a member of the Carver Center and a longtime member of the NAACP. He was named a Life Time Member of the Three Rivers Lions Club where he has served since 1991.

Mr. Graham’s most recent college scholarship recipient, Luther Baldwin, is planning a degree in business. One of ten children, Baldwin is determined to get his Bachelors degree. He has been involved in several community activities: handing out backpacks full of school supplies at the Back to School Celebration at Three Rivers High School, volunteering for the NAACP Annual Banquet, and participating in Reading with TRIO. Baldwin believes the Upward Bound program centered at Glen Oaks Community College helped him in so many ways by pushing him to work harder and encouraging him to be more driven so he would do better in classes. He attributes attending college to the Upward Bound Program through the exposure he had to experiencing college campus life and seeing new things that allowed him to realize how much is out there. “The Upward Bound Program pushed me to new limits and allowed me to see things I would not have otherwise,” wrote Baldwin in his scholarship application essay.

The complete list of the Glen Oaks Community College Foundation Scholarships can be found on the college website at www.glenoaks.edu/foundation . The application selection process will begin again in April 2011; if students are interested in applying they may access the requirements on the website or by contacting the Financial Aid Office at 269-294-4260. To learn more on how you can establish a scholarship or gifting opportunities the Executive Director recommends you call the Foundation office at 269-294-4384.

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