GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. — Ellen James is a founding board member at Grand Rapids Community College and served as a trustee for 25 years.  

“I didn’t really start out saying I want to be a member of the Grand Rapids Community College board,” she explains. “One of my friends said to me 'it is your turn,' so I ran. I ended up being there for 25 years.”

James is retired from the board now, but her legacy will live on at the college through the Ellen M. James Trailblazer Scholarship. Tuesday night at the Grand Rapids Public Museum, there was a reception to honor her and raise money for the scholarship. As a founding GRCC board member, she has already helped countless students get more education. And, even though she is now off the board, her scholarship will keep on helping.

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“There are so many people out there who want to go to college and do not have the opportunity,” she said. “We have to encourage them as much as we possibly can.”

Supporters can donate to the Ellen M. James Trailblazer Scholarship Fund on the GRCC website.

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