Page 6 - Scene Magazine 46-02 February 2021
P. 6

  Did You Know?
     Many students and their families have questions about what comes next after high school and now there is a place that can and does offer resources to answer that question. The W.K. Kel- logg Foundation teamed up with Grand Valley State University and BCPS to fund and create the Grand Valley Battle Creek Regional Outreach Center. The Director of Community Engagement, Al Shefflett, is a born, raised, and educated proud citizen of Battle Creek. Although Al and his wife, Angela and their three children live in East Leroy, Al thinks
many opportunities and resources available to students and their families to continue education after secondary school. In addition to students, the Out- reach Center also mentors and advises educators from the Battle Creek Public Schools. Al explained the ideas behind the Outreach Center as a way to assist BCPS bring one of the education and transformation goals of the W.K. Kel- logg Foundation grant to fruition. The educational initiative from the foun- dation was to have a collegiate partner for career exploration and college attainment. The Outreach Center works to mentor students and educators about the training and education resources available, to assist them through the ap- plication process, mentor them as they progress, and be there for the student or educator for whatever they might need.
“This isn’t necessarily just a recruit- ment tool for GVSU,” Al explained. The Outreach Center is on a five year grant from W.K. Kellogg Foundation
to let the community know there are resources available for education and training after high school and how to access those resources. “We’d be very happy if the student chose GVSU, but if they want a certificate that enrolling in KCC will provide we will recommend and mentor them for that choice,”
of their home as Battle Creek. “I never left Battle Creek,” Al tells me. “I have worked in Jackson and Kalamazoo, but Battle Creek has always been home.” Al met his wife Angela in high school and credits her with much of his success, “She had it all planned out. Nothing happens until we finish our degrees,” he said with a big smile. Angela is a nurse at Bronson Hospital and Al has worked his way through advertising, market- ing, fundraising, and now community engagement.
Al told me.
The Outreach Center opened in
What that means for Battle Creek and the surrounding area is Al knows this community and understands the
The W.K. Kellogg Foundation learned of the outreach resources GVSU developed in northern Michigan and sought them out as a possible collab- orator for the grant program. “They made the invitation and it was accepted with joy and appreciation,” Al said
with a smile. “We want to approach
the students as partners. We want to know what barriers they may be facing such as a FAFSA form, or writing an essay for an application, or answering
a question like, ‘Do I need a college education?’”
Did you know students in the Battle Creek Public Schools have a fairly new resource to assist them in their next step after finish- ing high school?
“One of the features that’s not part of the grant, but is provided by W.K. Kellogg Foundation, is the program that’s giving six students from Battle Creek Central High School a full ride scholarship to Grand Valley [each of the five years of the grant] for eight semes- ters,” Al told me. “One of the goals of that program is to have the new college graduate return to Battle Creek to live and work.”
Al Shefflett, III
November of 2019 and because of changes brought about by the COVID 19 virus, has developed virtual drop-in advising at the center Monday through Friday from 8am until 5pm. “The foot traffic to our center is pretty light,” Al said. “But we have been open since July 6, 2020 and you are welcome to come in.”
T. R. Shaw Jr. Co-Founder / CEO / 269-209-5555 cell / Kathy Shaw Co-Founder / President / 269-209-9719 cell /
If you know of a student or edu- cator who could benefit from the re- sources of Grand Valley Battle Creek Regional Outreach Center contact Al Shefflett. He’ll help any way he can.

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