Grand Rapids, MI – On Wednesday, July 30 at 1:00 pm, the YMCA of Greater Grand Rapids will celebrate the completion of the summer Believe 2 Become program for 18 GRPS middle school students.

Friends, family and the public are invited to the Y to see the students’ under water robots run for the first time, eat lunch, and watch a ceremony awarding the students’ accomplishments.

This six-week Believe 2 Become program focused on summer learning loss, specifically in the area of mathematics.  Each week, students received 8 hours of mathematics curriculum through enrichment, nutrition, physical activity, and robotics.  The underwater robots are made from materials that could be purchased at any large hardware store, but they are also fairly complex and in-depth.  The students built every part of the robots, from cutting the frames to gluing the parts together.  They also mounted the motor, soldered the wiring, and waterproofed the entire boat.

“We are thrilled to have introduced this hands-on, interactive technology to the students,” said Brent Besemer, YMCA Program Director. “This was a great opportunity for them to learn how robotics work and how to create electronics. During the program, we helped cultivate their interests and helped the students experience something they normally wouldn’t.”

David D. Hunting YMCA – Visser Family Pool
475 Lake Michigan Drive NE Grand Rapids, MI 49504
From 1-1:45pm, students will be running their robotic boats in the Y pool. Spectators are invited to watch from the second floor observation deck.

About Believe 2 Become
Believe 2 Become is a collaborative partnership of hundreds of organizations and individuals who believe in the unlimited potential of Grand Rapids children, and expect them to succeed. The program offers real-worldopportunities to children and their families in four Grand Rapids neighborhoods. Through kindergarten readiness programs, after school and summer learning opportunities and community gatherings where parents and neighbors can come together in support of their children’s success, B2B aims to eliminate the educational achievement gap by 2020.

Believe 2 Become, a neighborhood initiative designed to help children succeed in school, work and life, is a collaborative effort of the Doug & Maria DeVos Foundation, W.K. Kellogg Foundation, Grand Rapids Student Advancement Foundation and Grand Rapids Public Schools.



About the Y 

The Y is West Michigan’s leading nonprofit strengthening communities through youth development, healthy living, and social responsibility.  Through its seven branches, Camp Manitou-Lin, and over 23 program sites, the YMCA of Greater Grand Rapids is committed to improving the health and well-being of children and families.  Y programs impact thousands of lives annually and respond to unique community needs across West Michigan.