It is Scholarship Season at Berrien Community Foundation

The Berrien Community Foundation’s Scholarship program is growing thanks to the generosity of our donors!

For a full list of scholarships, visit the Berrien Community Foundation website at Applications are due March 6, 2020.
For the 2020 scholarship year, ten additional scholarship opportunities have been added to support Berrien County students as they move on to a college or trade school. The Berrien Community Foundation now oversees 43 scholarship programs.

“As the cost of higher education continues to rise, so does the generosity of the people in our community,” said Lisa Cripps-Downey, president of BCF. “Donors understand that there is a need for help to pay for college or training and students are so grateful.”

The new scholarship programs are varied in their focus and eligibility requirements. There are several that are for students from anywhere in Berrien County.  The Arcadia Gardens Scholarship is for a high school senior who is an Arcadia Gardens employee or child of an employee. The Passaro Family Volunteer Scholarship will reward the work of a student who volunteered for nonprofit organizations outside of their church or school groups. The Pasquale Santaniello Family Scholarship was created to support high school seniors who played soccer. The Ken and Jeanne Thomas Memorial Scholarship will help high school seniors pursuing careers in STEM fields.

Other new scholarships focus on specific communities or school districts. The Sondra J. Kaminski Soccer Scholarship is for St. Joseph or Lake Michigan Catholic High School seniors who will be playing soccer in college.  The Howard D. Merchant Memorial Scholarship was created for St. Joseph High School seniors who will pursue a career in the field of science. The St. Joseph Class of 1970 Scholarship is an award for a Benton Harbor High School senior female with a 2.5 GPA who demonstrates financial need.   The Alton and Millie Wendzel Scholarship will give a boost to Watervliet High School seniors with a 3.0 GPA, community activities and financial need.

Among the new scholarships there will also be help for students who are graduating seniors or who are returning to college.  The Lehmann-Peapples Trades Scholarship supports high school seniors or those returning to school who will attend a trade school or trades training program.  The Michigan Grape Society Scholarship will award a high school senior or current college student who is pursuing a career in viticulture.

“The purpose of the scholarship program is to assist people who are determined to further their education or training to make a better life for themselves and their families,” said BCF Program Manager Susan Matheny. “We work with students at different ages and stages and with a wide range of career choices. Soccer player? Engineering? Adult student? Nurse? We have an option for you!” 

For a full list of scholarships, visit the Berrien Community Foundation website at Applications are due March 6, 2020 and can be downloaded from the site. Students can also check with their high school counselors for applications. The Berrien Community Foundation scholarship site also includes links to other local scholarships to help students 

Decisions will be announced in early May. Please visit for more information or contact the Berrien Community Foundation at or by calling 269-983-3304.