Greg Jennings Brings His Foundation To Minnesota

Posted Oct 3, 2013

The Greg Jennings Foundation announced the recipients of the BE GREAT After School Grants as part of their BE GREAT Youth Initiative. Six (6) diverse organizations in the greater Kalamazoo area of Mich. and Minneapolis, Minn. will receive a total of $50,000 in funding to support specific youth education projects.

“I am so proud of this years recipients and congratulate them on behalf of my foundation.  For the first year, we are supporting organizations in my new home of Minneapolis, as well as my hometown Kalamazoo,” said Greg Jennings.  “My wife Nicole and I are dedicated to helping children in underserved communities dream big, achieve their goals and BE GREAT. These organizations capture what we are about.”

The goal of the BE GREAT Youth Initiative is to identify and partner with effective organizations that empower and inspire children to fulfill their potential.  The second annual BE GREAT After School Grants were awarded to groups that work with K-12 students in the areas of academic achievement, maintaining a healthy lifestyle and college readiness.

Executive Director of The Greg Jennings Foundation, Gretta Terrentine, added, “We were overjoyed with all of the wonderful work that is being done in Kalamazoo and Minneapolis and once again had a hard decision to select the recipients.  We strongly believe that this year’s recipients make an impact in the lives of children and share our belief that with the right opportunity and proper support all children can set and achieve their goals.”

Here is some highlighted information about the organizations selected:


Big Brothers and Big Sisters, A Community of Caring - High School Bigs

Serving three school districts in the greater Kalamazoo area, High School Bigs matches children in grades 1-4 (littles) with high school students (bigs) for a year long mentoring program.  BBBS works with school faculty to identify children they feel would best benefit from the program and one-on-one time.  The littles meet with their bigs after school once a week to spend time together and work on homework.  There are also organized programs on select weekends that they can participate in. This is the second year BBBS has received a BE GREAT grant.

Boys and Girls Club of Greater Kalamazoo – Supplemental Learning Program

The program provides academic assistance from tutors one-on-one and in small groups at least one day per week during the school year.  In addition, 25 middle school students who attend regularly during the school year will participate in an intensive summer program focused on raising math and literacy scores taught by Western Michigan University students who are part of the WMU TRiO Future Educators Success Program. FESP is in partnership with the US Department of Education designed to enrich future K-12 educators with the motto “Everyone Teacher, Everyone Learns.”

Communities in Schools of Kalamazoo – Just Unleashing My Potential (JUMP) After-School Program

Communities In Schools of Kalamazoo works to surround students with a community of support, empowering them to stay in school and achieve in life. The JUMP program extends the learning day for students, providing homework help and opportunities to understand and practice good nutrition and physical health. It is an after-school program for  freshman and sophomores at Kalamazoo Central High School designed to engage students in high school and college.  Students have help with homework and tutoring, as well as character development, health & wellness, college preparation topics, and regional college visits.  CIS was a 2012 grant recipient as well.

Kalamazoo Symphony Orchestra - Kalamazoo Kids In Tune

KKIT is an orchestra immersion program that infuses after-school programming with accessible, intensive and ongoing ensemble-based music learning.  In addition to music lessons and orchestra rehearsals, students receive a daily nutritious meal, participate in choir, are trained in musicianship and dance classes, as well as help with homework and tutoring.  The children perform in routine “informances” to share their work with the community and school.  KKIT was a 2012 BE GREAT grantee.

Mt. Zion Baptist Church – After School Homework Center

The overarching goal of the Mt. Zion After School Homework Center is to provide students with academic support and assistance, in hopes of improving their classroom achievement and, eventually, standardizing test scores. It provides students with academic support and after-school opportunities including high school and college youth, tutoring children in grades K-5 with adult supervision, as well as a healthy snack, enrichment activities that concentrate on reading and math skills, and physical activity along with healthy behaviors lessons. The high school and college leaders gain work experience and enhance their confidence and leadership skills. 


Hospitality House Youth Development – Urban Learning Center

The Urban Learning Center provides educational assistance to 23 schools in partnership with the Minneapolis Public Schools. It serves more than 300 children in grades K-12 and more than 1000 family members every year through developing Individualized Educations Plans for students to improve their academic performance. Hospitality House Youth Development is the first BE GREAT grant recipient in Minneapolis.

About The Greg Jennings Foundation:

The Greg Jennings Foundation is a nonprofit, tax-exempt charitable organization under Section 501(c)(3) of the Internal Revenue Code founded to positively impact youth through investments within our local communities. The Greg Jennings Foundation partners with organizations in educating youth by providing the necessary resources in order for them to reach their academic potential.

For more information please visit:

Greg Jennings Foundation Social Media


Twitter:             @GJenningsFound


Greg Jennings Social Media


Twitter:             @GregJennings