Alum Surpasses Her Own Expectations and Plans to Keep Right on Doing So
GRCC Alum Tiffany Ewigleben, once thought she wasn’t even going to college. Now enrolled at Ferris State University and majoring in Business Administration, Tiffany plans on completing FSU’s Ph.D. program in Community College Leadership.
Tiffany’s continuous climb up the higher education ladder is even more impressive if you know where the journey of this GRCC alumna and current employee began.
“I was a high school drop-out at the age of 15,” she says. “I got my GED at 21 and figured that was all I needed. My husband, Jameson, my 4-year-old son, Loki, and I moved to Grand Rapids so my husband could attend culinary school at GRCC. I had no plan for higher education, but my mother-in-law convinced me to take a few classes and ‘try it out.’ One of my first classes was a service-learning class (where students take classroom knowledge and apply it in the community). I was hooked!
Tiffany did “try out” college - and a few student leadership options such as Student Congress, clubs and organizations - and excelled beyond even her own expectations.
“If I hadn’t gone to GRCC and experienced service-learning as part of my class, I never would have become as involved as I am in this city, never would have met so many influential and wonderful people who truly make a difference in so many lives.” Tiffany, who is now a Contingency Worker in the Experiential Learning Department at GRCC (formerly known as the Service-Learning Dept.) where she first encountered service-learning, adds, “I never thought myself capable of everything I’ve done.”
From winning the Young Nonprofit Professsionals Network Edison Award last year, to being selected as a finalist for the Governor’s Service Award for Volunteer of the Year, Tiffany credits her experiences at GRCC for “providing me with the leadership and professional skills needed to do so much with the community.
Tiffany says she is proud to be a college graduate. “I’m the first person in my family to graduate from college.” She may not be the last. Four-year-old Loki is already attending GRCC – the Lab Preschool, that is.
“I want to encourage every student who walks through the doors of GRCC to find their dreams and reach their goals as I did,” she says. “I’m still pursuing mine, and I don’t plan on stopping.”