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Student Spotlight: Allie Mulder

Allie Mulder video

Finding Her Dream and Following It

When Allie Mulder was a kid, she wanted to be an orthodontist. Or a child psychologist. Also a ballerina, a fire fighter and maybe even a movie star. "I look back at that now and say why did I want to be an orthodontist? I don't know!"

Like a lot of us, Allie didn't know what she wanted to be when she grew up, or the path she'd take to get there.

After graduating from high school in 2014, the Hudsonville, Michigan native began working at a local daycare and enrolled in a few classes at Grand Rapids Community College. She thought the classes might help her find her path forward. That's not what happened.  

“I actually hated it after the first semester,” Allie said, laughing. “I took the semester off, and I wasn’t going to go back.”

During her time off, Allie focused her energy on working at the daycare with her mom, and realized just how much she liked working with kids. Allie's mom convinced her to go back to school, and suggested that she take some child development classes. 

"Once I started taking child development classes, my grades started improving," Allie explained.  "I realized that this stuff just came naturally to me and was really easy! I felt called to do it." 

Allie decided to pursue a degree in Early Childhood Education and applied to Ferris at one of our open houses. She ended up being accepted on the spot! 

 "It was a really cool feeling, getting accepted to Ferris, " Allie said. "I just wanted to start classes right then and continue on getting my bachelor's degree!" 

Allie Mulder siblings
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Allie Mulder family

In the bachelor's degree program in Early Childhood Education at Ferris - Grand Rapids, Allie is taking in-depth classes that focus on every aspect of a child's growth and learning. She's developing the skills she needs to help build a career in something she's very passionate about.

Taking advantage of Ferris State's partnership with GRCC, Allie is able to do it at an affordable price and without leaving Grand Rapids. That means she can save a ton of money on housing and keep her job at the daycare while in school.

Since Allie kept her job, it's not always easy to pack her schedule in the fall and spring semesters. Instead, she tries to take as many classes as she can during the summer semester. Thanks to the brand new year-round Pell Grant program, this just got a lot easier for Allie and students like her. 

"Last summer it was a struggle to even take two classes. The fact that I'll be able to take close to four this summer and not have as much financial stress is really awesome."

Starting this summer, students who are eligible for the Pell Grant will be able to take out the full Pell Grant amount for the summer semester, as well as fall and spring. 

“Last summer I took some classes, and they didn’t offer a Pell Grant,” Allie said.  “It was a struggle to even take two classes. The fact that I’ll be able to take close to four this summer and not have as much financial stress is really awesome.”

Allie plans to graduate from Ferris – Grand Rapids in 2020. Having discovered her passion, she now has her sights set on being a Child Life Specialist at Helen DeVos Children’s Hospital.

“If you are even considering going to GRCC and Ferris, I would highly recommend it,” Allie said. “It has been life-changing for me and I think it could really be life changing for you.”

Ready to pursue your own passion at Ferris this summer? Check out all the programs we offer at our 24 locations across Michigan and online or complete your free application today! You can find more information about the year-round Pell Grant that Allie is using to make summer more affordable on our admissions page.


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