“Always be humble and kind.” These are the words of wisdom shared by Faith Keathley at the Berrien Community Foundation 16th Annual Scholarship Celebration where students from all over Berrien County were recognized for their academic and personal success last Thursday at Lake Michigan College. Keathley, the 2001 Oehlhaffen Youth in Philanthropy Scholarship recipient spoke about how the lessons she learned while participating in philanthropy were just as valuable as the scholarship that helped her earn a degree at Ferris State University. Since college, she has gotten married and is raising twin toddlers and gives back to the community every day as the Director for Cass and St. Joseph Counties Department of Health and Human Services.
“We asked Faith to speak at our celebration because she embodies the true spirit of a Berrien Community Foundation scholar,” said Berrien Community Foundation President Lisa Cripps-Downey, “Every year we strive to honor the wishes of the donors and their families who provide these scholarships, and the best way we can do that is to assure that we award students who show the highest degree of academic success and personal character.”
The Berrien Community Foundation will provide $130,000 in college scholarships to Berrien County students for the 2016-17 academic year. The scholarship recipients were honored at a celebration of nearly 200 donors, scholars, review committee members and their guests at Lake Michigan College on Thursday evening.
In its history the Foundation has awarded over $2.3 million in scholarships to Berrien County students. “Many of these scholarships were established to honor a beloved spouse, parent child or loved one, or to encourage a respected profession or reward benevolent actions… whatever the reason, there was sacrifice and thought involved in providing your scholarship.” BCF Vice Chair Hon. Mabel Mayfield advises the scholarship recipients, “Remember your donors. And, when it is your turn, remember to give back.”
Committees of Berrien Community Foundation volunteers review hundreds of applications to select the scholarship recipients. The committee members score the applications and then make the very difficult decision to select the winner. This year the Scholarship Committee was asked to review 4 new scholarships that were added to the family of Berrien Community Foundation Scholarships. The new scholarships are, Insurance Management Services Scholarship for Benton Harbor Football, All God’s Children Community Choir Scholarship, the Ronald H. Miller Journalism Scholarship and the Powered by Honor Community Commitment Scholarship.
“Receiving this scholarship gave me confidence.” Said Ronald H. Miller Journalism Scholarship recipient Morgan Coulston, “I have received a lot more than just a scholarship, I have received plans for my life and for that, I thank you.”
Scholarships and recipients honored this year include:
All God’s Children Community Choir Scholarship: Taryn Butler (Berrien Springs), Aliyah Davis (Berrien Springs), Rana Holmes (Berrien Springs); Edna Bender Scholarship: Mason McFarland (Berrien Springs); Bryce Boothby Family Scholarship: Jawana Young (Benton Harbor) and Monica Milanowski (Lake Michigan Catholic); Jeffrey Evan Demko Scholarship: Brooke Essig (Bridgman); Drews Scholar: Addison Wood (Lakeshore); Dunn Scholarship: Linda Bentley (Lake Michigan College), Ashlee Thompson (Western Michigan University); Jameson Matthew Gargano Memorial Scholarship: Leah Wojahn (Lakeshore); Heart of Cook Scholarship: Lillian Arp (New Buffalo), Madison Brandt (Lakeshore), Nicholas Brant ( Watervliet), Samuel Burck (Berrien County Math and Science Center/Niles), Peter Chen (St. Joseph), Larry Lamb (Niles); John E.N. & Dede Howard Instrumental Music Scholarship: Jonathan Barnes (Western Michigan University); Insurance Management Service Scholarship: Shareif Alexander ( Benton Harbor); Jon Jollay Scholarship: Emma Tavolacci (Coloma); Leonard & Marion Krall Memorial Scholarship: Karlee Liles (Watervliet); Sondra J. Kaminski Scholarship: Monica Milanowski (Lake Michigan Catholic); Ronald H. Miller Journalism Scholarship: Morgan Coulston ( Berrien Springs); Lora Wile-Miller Memorial Scholarship: John Wendland (Lakeshore) ; Terence Joseph Mulvihill Scholarship: Ashley Yuan (New Buffalo); Carol A. Oehlhaffen Lake Michigan Catholic Scholar: Dana Ives, Mary Koenig, Sarah McCoy, Monica Milanowski, Samantha Schueneman (all Lake Michigan Catholic); Carol A. Oehlhaffen Youth in Philanthropy Scholarship: Momodu Sheriff, Jr. (Bridgman) and Keegan Downey (Lakeshore) Cora B. Parkhurst Memorial Scholarship: Ashley Pompey (Berrien Springs); Arlene B. Porritt Memorial Scholarship for Curious Kids: Grace James (St. Joseph); Powered by Honor Community Commitment Scholarship: Sahana Harikrishnan (St. Joseph), Allison Hughes (St. Joseph), Allison Matti (Lakeshore), Alexander Rynkiewicz (Bridgman), Emily Sarra (Bridgman):Terry Richcreek Memorial Scholarship: Alexis Elston (Watervliet); Welch Family Scholarship: Isabael Becerra (Benton Harbor), Andrea Perez (Lakeshore), Jawana Young (Benton Harbor); and Wayne K. Wright Scholarship: Samantha Krause (Berrien Springs).
Scholarship applications for next year will be available at high school counseling offices and on the Foundation's web site in early February 2017.