Young adult students put best feet forward to help disease research

Students of the Eberhard Community Transition Campus celebrate after completing the 5K benefit run/walk

Students in two Community Transition Campus classes recently raised $440 for disease research in the fourth annual Consumers Credit Union Purple Community 5K run/walk. The 18- to 26-year-old students from CTC at North Kent joined CTC at Eberhard students, who also took part in last year’s event. All proceeds go to the Van Andel Institute for research on cancer, Parkinson’s and other diseases.

The CTC is a center-based program run by Grand Rapids Public Schools that helps young adults with disabilities make the transition to the workplace. Many students work in GRPS cafeterias or in local businesses such as Kingma’s Market. Jenna Darcy, a teacher at CTC at Eberhard, conceived the idea to have students take part in the event as way to contribute to the community. North Kent CTC teacher Betty Bartus got her 11 students on board this year.

The fact students have a disability such as cognitive impairment or autism spectrum disorder “is only one part of them,” said Bartus, whose class meets at Faith Lutheran Church.

“I think it’s great they feel like they’re part of something bigger, and they’re helping causes,” Bartus said. “It’s just one way to boost their self-esteem.”

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CTC at Mayfield gives back to community

The North Kent Community Transition Campus took part in the run/walk to raise funds for disease research at Van Andel Institute
Charles Honey
Charles Honey is a freelance writer and former columnist for The Grand Rapids Press/ MLive.com. As a reporter for The Press from 1985 to 2009, his beats included Grand Rapids Public Schools, local colleges and education issues. Honey served as editor of The Press’ award-winning Religion section for 15 years. His freelance articles have appeared in Christianity Today magazine, Religion News Service and the Aquinas College alumni magazine. Read Charles' full bio.

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