News briefs 2/22/18

Grand Rapids selected as finalist in philanthropy challenge

The city of Grand Rapids was named one of 35 finalists in the 2018 philanthropist’s challenge, a competition that challenges city leaders to uncover and implement new strategies in philanthropy. Grand Rapids will advance a six-month round where officials can refine their idea for community engagement. More than 320 cities entered the competition. As a finalist, Grand Rapids received a $100,000 grant from Bloomberg Philanthropies for its project. 

“We are incredibly grateful to Bloomberg Philanthropies for the opportunity to work with our community to test, learn and adapt our Mayors Challenge idea,” said Mayor Rosalynn Bliss in a press release. “We believe this initiative has great potential to move us forward in a significant way as we work to become a more equitable city.”

Grand Rapids will submit a refined version of its current pitch in August. The current proposal is to make city census data available by location, giving community leaders a better idea of where to deploy health and community resources.

West Michigan Gubernatorial Candidate Forum taking place Saturday, Feb. 24

Four democratic candidates for Michigan’s governor seat will be participating in a forum on Saturday, Feb. 24, from 2 p.m. to 5 p.m. at 3315 Eastern Ave. in Grand Rapids. Democratic candidates Gretchen Whitmer, Abdul El-Sayed, Shri Thanedar and Bill Cobbs will participate in the forum.

The event is open to the public. 

Padnos International Center holding passport fair

Grand Valley State University’s Padnos International Center is holding a passport fair on Tuesday, Feb. 27, from 1 p.m. to 4 p.m. in the Kirkhof Center Grand River Room.

Those interested in obtaining passports need to bring proof of U.S. citizenship, proof of identity with photo ID, two separate checks ($110 to the State Department, $25 to the U.S. Postal Service) and $3 cash if they wish to have their passport photos taken at the fair. Passports could take up to six weeks for processing.

GVSU named top producer of Fulbright scholars

Grand Valley State University was found to be the top producer of both faculty and student Fulbright scholars in the region, according to the U.S. Department of State’s Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs. The Fulbright Program is a U.S. government international  educational exchange program. Three faculty members and four students were selected as Fulbright scholars.

FAFSA priority deadline fast approaching

The priority deadline to submit a Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) is Thursday, March 1. Those in need of aid for the 2018-19 academic year are encouraged to submit their applications before that date. Grand Valley State University’s Financial Aid and Scholarship’s department is holding a financial aid workshop Thursday, Feb. 22, from 1 p.m. to 4 p.m. in Henry Hall 113 for those who need assistance with their documents.