The Rapidian

Former Homework House student is keynote speaker for UCOM’s 25th anniversary

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Former Homework House Student Jessica Cruz

Former Homework House Student Jessica Cruz

Jessica Cruz cried her entire first day in second grade at Hall Elementary School. She had just moved to this country and she spoke no English, yet she was still responsible for doing homework and participating in class. Fortunately on her second day of school Jessica met her Homework House™ tutor, a college student who spoke a little Spanish. The two became friends and Jessica learned fast. She participated in Homework House™ at every opportunity through sixth grade and then she volunteered to tutor younger students. Jessica is currently completing her Doctorate of Education at Teachers College, Columbia University. Upon graduation, Jessica plans to continue working within the Hispanic community by conducting research on Latinos in higher education and establishing a support program for underrepresented doctoral students.

Jessica is the keynote speaker at UCOM’s 25th Anniversary gala on Tuesday, September 21, 5:30-7:30pm. The celebration includes a dinner of international foods and awards for some founders of the organization. It will also feature internationally recognized mime, the Rev. Dr. Todd Farley and Ken Medema’s recording of UCOM’s Anniversary song, “Together We Will Find a Way.” Other guests include emcee Eva Aguirre Cooper and Grand Rapids’ mayor the Rev. George Heartwell.

The event, a fund-raiser for the faith-based community social services organization, will gather supporters in a huge tent in the parking lot of the agency at 1311 Chicago Dr SW, Wyoming, MI. Individual tickets for the event are $60; sponsorships for a table for 10 are available for $500. Order tickets online at or call in your reservation to (616) 241-4006 x32.

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