Scholarships

1 Application = 50+ Opportunities!

A group photo of the 2022 scholarship recipients.

Scholarships are available for current high school seniors, early/middle college students, current college students, adults returning to school and students going into the skilled trades. We offer one common application for our 50+ opportunities, meaning your application will automatically be submitted to scholarships you're eligible for. As questions appear, that means it's another scholarship for which you're eligible! 

These scholarships are available primarily for Berrien County residents but there are some opportunities for Hartford High School graduates as well as students living in Cass, Van Buren, and St. Joseph counties. Our scholarships are determined by a variety of factors, including: Intended majors, extracurricular activities and financial need. They are not solely determined on GPA.

Applications are due March 1.

2021 recipient George Weber.
2021 recipient George Weber.

This is a renewable scholarship of up to $10,000 — dispersed over four years — established to provide educational opportunities for graduating high school seniors who have participated in All God’s Children Community Choir for at least their junior and senior year of high school.  This scholarship can be used at any U.S. college/university or trades school for tuition, books, fees and other costs related to attending, except room and board.

Eligible applicants:

  • All Berrien County high school seniors
Alton and Millie Wendzel with 2022 recipient Hannah Hart.
Alton and Millie Wendzel with 2022 recipient Hannah Hart.

This is a non-renewable scholarship of $1,000 established by Alton and Millie Wendzel to support Watervliet and Michigan Lutheran students. Eligible applicants must have a 3.0 GPA or higher, be a graduating senior from Watervliet or Michigan Lutheran High School with involvement in volunteer and community activities, and demonstrate financial need. This scholarship can be used at any U.S. college/university or trades school for tuition, books, fees and other costs related to attending, except room and board.

Eligible applicants:

  • Michigan Lutheran High School
  • Watervliet High School
Donors Todd and Anna Brooks with their 2022 recipient, Brooke Gerlach.
Todd and Anna Brooks with 2022 recipient Brooke Gerlach.

This is a non-renewable scholarship of $1,000 established to support the educational goals of the employees and children of employees of Arcadia Gardens, LLC.  Eligible applicants are graduating high school seniors or current college students with a 2.5 GPA or higher and is an Arcadia Gardens employee or the child of an employee who is neither a company owner nor company shareholder. This scholarship can be used at any U.S. college/university or trades school for tuition, books, fees and other costs related to attending, except room and board.

Eligible applicants:

  • All Berrien County high school seniors
  • Adult/returning/non-traditional/current college students 
2022 BCF Board Chair Dr. Bob Harrison with Vanderlyn scholarship recipients, Ana Hernandez, Bo Janicki, David Martinez, Ashton Vassar, Jasmin Janicki, Gillian Kuehnle, Bianca Lopez, and Martiza Ramon-Flores.
2022 BCF Board Chair Dr. Bob Harrison with Vanderlyn
scholarship recipients, Ana Hernandez, Bo Janicki,
David Martinez, Ashton Vassar, Jasmin Janicki, Gillian
Kuehnle, Bianca Lopez and Martiza Ramon-Flores.

This renewable scholarship of up to $12,000 — dispersed over four years — was established to provide educational opportunities for both Hartford High School graduating seniors and adults who were Hartford High School graduates. The amount of the scholarship is dependent on the number of years the student attended Hartford High School (4 years – 100%, 3 years - 90%, 2 years – 80%, 1 year – 75%). Eligible applicants must have a 2.5 GPA or higher, demonstrate financial need and show volunteer/community involvement. This scholarship can be used at any U.S. college/university or trades school for tuition, books, fees and other costs related to attending, except room and board. 

Eligible applicants:

  • Hartford High School
  • Adult/returning/non-traditional/current college students 
Committee member James Gunter with Boothby recipient Trucel Singleton.
James Gunter with 2022 Boothby recipient Trucel Singleton.

This is a non-renewable scholarship of $1,000 established by Bryce Boothby who is a proud graduate of Benton Harbor High School. Additionally, many of his family members graduated from Lake Michigan Catholic (now Our Lady of the Lake) High School. Eligible applicants must have a 2.5 GPA or higher, be a graduating high school senior from Benton Harbor High School or Our Lady of the Lake High School and have some involvement in volunteer/community activities. This scholarship can be used at any U.S. college/university or trades school for tuition, books, fees and other costs related to attending, except room and board.

Eligible applicants:

  • Benton Harbor High School
  • Our Lady of the Lake High School
Donor Carol Oehlhaffen with 2022 recipients Chloe Mills, Jackson Jollay, Connor Shooks, and Joshton Szczepanski.
Carol Oehlhaffen with 2022 recipients Chloe Mills,
Jackson Jollay, Connor Shooks, and Joshton Szczepanski.

This is a renewable scholarship of up to $4,000 — dispersed over four years — established by Carol A. Oehlhaffen to honor deserving students at Our Lady of the Lake High School. Eligible applicants must have a 3.0 GPA or higher and have some involvement in volunteer/community or church activities. In years where there are multiple applicants, the decision may be made based on financial need. This scholarship can be used at any U.S. college/university or trades school for tuition, books, fees and other costs related to attending, except room and board.

Eligible applicants:

  • Our Lady of the Lake High School
Carol Oehlhaffen with 2022 recipient Sophia Bomar. 
Carol Oehlhaffen with 2022 recipient Sophia Bomar. 

This is a renewable scholarship of up to $7,000 — dispersed over four years — established by Carol A. Oehlhaffen to honor graduating seniors who participate in T.E.A.M. (Teens Exhibiting Able Minds), the Berrien Community Foundation’s Youth Advisory Committee. Students must have a 2.0 GPA or higher and have some involvement in volunteer/community or church activities. In years where there are multiple applicants, the decision may be made based on financial need. This scholarship can be used at any U.S. college/university or trades school for tuition, books, fees and other costs related to attending, except room and board.

Eligible students:

  • All Berrien County high school seniors
Committee member Lee Passaro with 2022 Coach U recipient Azizah Muhammad.
Lee Passaro with 2022 recipient Azizah Muhammad. 

This is a non-renewable scholarship of $1,000 established to encourage success in furthering education for a deserving Benton Harbor High School graduating senior who also participated in sports during their time at Benton Harbor. Applicants must demonstrate academic excellence and leadership skills. This scholarship can be used at any U.S. college/university or trades school for tuition, books, fees and other costs related to attending, except room and board.

Eligible applicants:

  • Benton Harbor High School
2022 recipient Amelia Daniels.
2022 recipient Amelia Daniels.

This is a renewable scholarship of up to $4,000 — dispersed over four years — for graduating seniors from Berrien Springs High School. Applicants must have a 2.5 GPA or higher and exemplify leadership skills and volunteer/community involvement. This scholarship can be used at any U.S. college/university or trades school for tuition, books, fees and other costs related to attending, except room and board.

Eligible applicants:

  • Berrien Springs High School
Donor Zack East with 2022 recipient Rileigh Wine.
Zack East with 2022 recipient Rileigh Wine.

This is a non-renewable scholarship of $1,000 established by the family of David A. Hicks to celebrate his life. David valiantly fought cancer throughout most of his teen years. Throughout his illness, he was always more concerned with others than he was with his own comfort. He was very interested in the arts and would have pursued a career in video game design. Because of that, his family established this scholarship to help other students pursue their passion for the arts. Students must have a 2.5 GPA or higher and plan to pursue a bachelor’s degree in the arts – this includes performing, graphic, digital and fine arts. This scholarship can be used at any U.S. college/university or arts school for tuition, books, fees and other costs related to attending, except room and board.

Eligible applicants:

  • All Berrien County high school seniors
Barbara Peeples and Sinie Bass-Wilburn with 2022 recipients Hannah Harrison and Camille Bauer.
Barbara Peeples and Sinie Bass-Wilburn with 2022 recipients
Hannah Harrison and Camille Bauer.

This non-renewable scholarship of $500 was established by the Delta Kappa Gamma Rho Chapter to help qualified students complete their degree and become certified teachers. Eligible applicants have a 3.0 GPA or higher, are women who are majoring in education and are in their student teaching. Ideal candidates will be a sophomore, junior or senior in college, and demonstrate financial need and have community involvement. This scholarship can be used at any U.S. college/university for tuition, books, fees and other costs related to attending, except room and board.

Eligible applicants:

  • Current college students
Committee member Georgiana Gormley with 2022 recipient Ishaan Gupta.
Georgiana Gormley with 2022 recipient Ishaan Gupta.

This renewable scholarship of up to $10,000 — dispersed over four years — was established by David and Lisa Drews to honor David’s parents, R.A. & Virginia Drews’ leadership, persistence and positive reinforcement given to their children in pursuit of an excellent college education. Eligible applicants must be focused, passionate, have a 3.5 GPA or higher, be a graduating Lakeshore High School senior planning to attend a prestigious U.S. college or university (Big Ten caliber school or higher) and demonstrate the highest level of personal expectation in their college and profession of choice. This scholarship can be used at any prestigious U.S. college/university for tuition, books, fees and other costs related to attending, except room and board.

Eligible applicants:

  • Lakeshore High School 
Donor Ed Dunn with 2022 recipients Julie Earle and Nadege Adamou.
Ed Dunn with 2022 recipients Julie Earle and Nadege Adamou.

This scholarship was established by the Dunn family in memory of Jeanne Dunn to assist women in transition to reach their career and educational goals to be able to better support themselves and their families. Two scholarships will be awarded: a $1,000 scholarship and a $5,000 scholarship. Eligible applicants are part-time or full-time students and at least in their first year at Andrews University, Lake Michigan College, Southwestern Michigan College, Siena Heights University (Berrien County campus), or Western Michigan University OR attending online at any accredited college or university. Applicants must have a 2.75 GPA or higher and demonstrate financial need. Preference will be given to women in transition (e.g., returning to college after raising children, a divorce or widowed with definite goals for the next steps in their lives). This scholarship can be used for tuition, books, fees and other costs related to attending.

Eligible applicants:

  • Adult/returning/non-traditional/current college students 
Committee member Neil Vill and 2022 recipient Suzete Nsiah.
Neil Vill and 2022 recipient Suzete Nsiah.

This is a non-renewable scholarship of $1,000 established by Edna Bender, a former teacher at Berrien Springs High School. Eligible applicants will be graduating seniors at Berrien Springs High School and current members of the National Honor Society who plan on pursuing a degree in a business career path. Preference will be given to applicants who show financial need and are in good standing with their high school educators. This scholarship can be used at any U.S. college/university or trades school for tuition, books, fees and other costs related to attending, except room and board.

Eligible applicants:

  • Berrien Springs High School 
Committee member Kathy Stady with 2022 recipients Nadege Adamou and Amanda Crow.
Kathy Stady with 2022 recipients Nadege Adamou and Amanda Crow.

This is a non-renewable scholarship of $1,500 established by the family of F.A. Mason Penwell to provide a nursing education to those who aspire to help others. Eligible applicants are students who are currently enrolled in or have been accepted into Lake Michigan College’s nursing program. Students must have a 2.5 GPA or higher for the most recent three semesters, must demonstrate financial need and be active in their community. This scholarship can be used for tuition, books, fees and other costs related to attending, except room and board. 

Eligible applicants:

  • Adult/returning/non-traditional/current college students 
Donor Judy Felland with 2022 recipient Peres Sambu.
Judy Felland with 2022 recipient Peres Sambu.

This is a non-renewable scholarship of $5,000 established by Judy Felland to assist women in transition from Berrien County to reach their career and educational goals, and be able to better support themselves and their families.  Eligible applicants are part-time or full-time students and at least in their first year at Andrews University, Lake Michigan College, Southwestern Michigan College, Siena Heights University (Berrien County campus) or Western Michigan University  OR attending online at any accredited college or university. Applicants must have a 2.75 GPA or higher and demonstrate financial need. Preference will be given to women in transition (e.g., returning to college after raising children, a divorce or widowed with definite goals for the next steps in their lives). This scholarship can be used for tuition, books, fees and other costs related to attending, except room and board.

Eligible applicants:

  • Adult/returning/non-traditional/current college students 
Lakeside Association members Susan Phelan and Sue Eblen with 2022 recipient Lillian Moore.
Susan Phelan and Susan Eblen with 2022 recipient Lillian Moore.

This is a renewable scholarship of up to $2,000 — dispersed over two years — established by the Fox family to encourage higher education for graduating seniors from River Valley High School. Eligible applicants will demonstrate financial need, and volunteer and work experience. This scholarship can be used at any U.S. college/university or trades school for tuition, books, fees and other costs related to attending, except room and board.
To apply for this scholarship, students should reach out to their school’s student services department or visit Scholarship Information - River Valley Middle/High School for more scholarship opportunities. 

Eligible applicants:

  • River Valley High School seniors
2023 Frederick S. Upton Foundation Chairmen Carrie Vill with 2022 recipients Jake Kroepel Suzete Nsiah, Elliot Measel, Daijah Latin, Eliza McGinn, Nicholas McKean and Elizabeth King.
2023 Frederick S. Upton Foundation Board Chair Carrie Vill with 2022
recipients Jake Kroepel, Suzete Nsiah, Elliot Measel, Daijah Latin, Eliza
McGinn, Nicholas McKean and Elizabeth King. 

The mission of the Frederick S. Upton Foundation is to uphold and perpetuate the wishes of its founder. Those wishes were to love your community, be aware of what is needed to enrich the quality of life of its inhabitants and work together to serve others through the foundation with wisdom and compassion. With this mission in mind, this scholarship was created to help students from Berrien County reach their educational goals.

This is a renewable scholarship of up to $9,000 — dispersed over four years — for a graduating high school senior or current college student from Berrien County who shows financial need, a 2.5 GPA or higher and be involved in volunteer activities. This scholarship may be used for tuition, books, fees and other costs at any four-year college or university in the state of Michigan with preference given to students who plan to attend small or private institutions. This scholarship may not be used for room and board.

Eligible applicants:

  • All Berrien County high school seniors 
  • Adult/returning/non-traditional/current college students 
Heart of Cook representative Bill Downey with 2022 recipients Marika Ruppart, Elliot Measel, Darren Fife, Matthew DeMeulenaere, and Michael Bombin.
Heart of Cook representative Bill Downey with 2022 recipients Marika Ruppart,
Elliot Measel, Darren Fife, Matthew DeMeulenaere, and Michael Bombin.

This is a renewable scholarship of up to $5,000 — dispersed over four years — established by the Heart of Cook to encourage Berrien County high school students to explore and excel in the areas of engineering and other technical disciplines, and to provide scholarship support for pursuing those technical goals. Eligible applicants must be a graduating high school senior from Berrien County who demonstrates financial need, high moral character, and potential for success in an engineering or technical degree and career.

Students must have a 3.0 GPA or higher, have completed classes throughout their high school career geared toward the engineering or technical curriculum, is not eligible for the AEP Educational Awards program and is not an immediate family member of an AEP employee. Immediate family includes spouses, children, stepchildren, grandchildren and step-grandchildren. This scholarship can be used at any U.S. college/university for tuition, books, fees and other costs related to attending, except room and board.

Eligible applicants:

  • All Berrien County high school seniors 
Alloyd Blackman with scholarship winner Rachel Fairchild.
Alloyd Blackman with scholarship winner Rachel Fairchild.

This is a renewable scholarship of up to $4,000 — dispersed over four years — established by Georgia Merchant to honor the memory of her husband, Howard D. Merchant, by assisting graduating seniors from St. Joseph High School who wish to pursue a college degree in the field of science. Howard Merchant was a successful business and community leader whose chemistry education prepared him for future opportunities. Howard, a graduate of Kalamazoo College, went on to hold leadership roles at Whirlpool Corporation where he held many patents and loved to mentor new staff.

This scholarship is intended to recognize the excellence and leadership of St. Joseph High School students who wish to apply those traits to the study of science. Applicants must be graduating from St. Joseph High School, have a 3.0 GPA or higher and declare an intention to major in an academic career path in the sciences. This scholarship can be used for full time enrollment at any U.S. college/university for tuition, books, fees and other costs related to attending, except room and board.  

Eligible applicants:

  • St. Joseph High School
Howard D. Merchant
Howard D. Merchant
Donor Rich Brandt with 2022 recipient Devin Perkins.
Rich Brandt with 2022 recipient Devin Perkins. 

This is a renewable scholarship of up to $4,000 — dispersed over four years — established by Insurance Management Service to encourage success in furthering education for a deserving Benton Harbor High School graduating senior who was also a member of the Benton Harbor High School football team. Applicants must have a 2.6 GPA or higher. This scholarship can be used at any U.S. college/university or trades school for tuition, books, fees and other costs related to attending, except room and board.

Eligible applicants:

  • Benton Harbor High School
Donors Chuck and Nancy Gargano and scholarship representative Robert Powell with 2022 recipient Madison Woodard.
Chuck and Nancy Gargano and Robert Powell with 2022 recipient Madison Woodard. 

This is a renewable scholarship of up to $2,000 — dispersed over two years — established by Charles and Nancy Gargano in loving memory of their son, Jameson Matthew Gargano. Caring family and friends raised dollars for this fund through several community activities as an outpouring of love from our community for a boy who was diagnosed with cancer. In 1996, 14-year-old Jay Gargano lost his battle but before he died, this brave young man told his family, “Don’t forget the children.” The Jameson Matthew Gargano Memorial Youth Fund, an endowment fund, was established on April 4, 1997. The first scholarships were awarded in 1999 to two seniors in Jay’s graduating class, a fitting tribute to Jay. A scholarship is awarded each year to a graduating Lakeshore High School senior in Jay’s honor. 
Applicants must have a 3.0 GPA or higher and be involved in at least one volunteer/community activity. This scholarship can be used at any U.S. college/university or trades school for tuition, books, fees and other costs related to attending, except room and board.

Eligible applicants:

  • Lakeshore High School

This is a non-renewable scholarship of $1,500 established by the family of Jean M. Heisner to provide educational support to those who aspire to help others by working in a medical technician field. Eligible applicants are those who are currently enrolled in or have been accepted into a medical technical program at Lake Michigan College. Medical technician programs could include medical assisting, radiologic technology, phlebotomy technology, pharmacy technology and sonography. Students must have a 2.5 GPA or higher for the most recent three semesters, must demonstrate financial need and be active in their community. 

Eligible applicants:

  • Adult/returning/non-traditional/current college students 

This is a non-renewable scholarship of $1,000 established by the friends and family of Dr. Jeffrey Demko and Margaret Mills to honor Jeffrey Evan Demko. Jeffery was an incredible student-athlete and leader who believed that it was as important to cheer for a team as it was to be a team player. He was a true E.A.G.L.E. at Bridgman High School who is missed by all who knew and loved him. Eligible applicants must be a student-athlete leader at Bridgman High School and exemplify the traits of an E.A.G.L.E. – Education, Athletics, Good Citizenship, Leadership, Excellence. The applicant must also have a 2.5 GPA or higher. This scholarship can be used at any U.S. college/university or trades school for tuition, books, fees and other costs related to attending, except room and board.

Eligible applicants:

  • Bridgman High School 

This is a non-renewable scholarship of $3,000 established by John and Dede Howard who always believed in the importance of art and music in our culture and wanted to support students pursuing careers in instrumental music. Eligible applicants must pursue a degree in instrumental music (i.e. music education/applied music involving performing by the applicant on a musical instrument [e.g., violin, viola, clarinet, bassoon, etc.]) and are in at least their sophomore year of college. Applicants must have a 3.0 GPA or higher and have exemplary character and leadership skills. This scholarship can be used at any U.S. college/university for tuition, books, fees and other costs related to attending, except room and board.

Eligible applicants:

  • Adult/returning/non-traditional/current college students 
BCF Board Member John Guiness with 2022 recipient Joy Bradley.
BCF Board Member John Guiness with 2022 recipient Joy Bradley.

This is a renewable scholarship of up to $5,000 — dispersed over two years — established by June Rollinger to provide educational opportunities to Berrien County high school students or students returning to school after a gap of time and going into health-related fields. Ideal candidates will be a graduating high school senior or an adult returning to school majoring in a health-related field, demonstrate financial need and have a history of community service/volunteering outside of school projects and/or a job. This scholarship can be used at any U.S. college/university for tuition, books, fees and other costs related to attending, except room and board.

Eligible applicants:

  • All Berrien County high school seniors
  • Adult/returning/non-traditional/current college students 
Donors Richard and Vicki Thomas and their 2022 recipients William Gibson, Arianna Hackett and Vicent Tedesco.
Richard and Vicki Thomas and 2022 recipients
William Gibson, Arianna Hackett and Vicent Tedesco.

This is a non-renewable scholarship of $2,000 established in memory of Ken and Jeanne Thomas to provide educational opportunities for deserving students pursuing a career in any science or engineering discipline. Eligible applicants are Berrien County high school seniors (including Early Middle College/fifth-year seniors) pursuing a career in any STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics) related field who demonstrate financial need. Additional consideration is given for those who participate in activities such as science, engineering, music, or other creative clubs demonstrating a deep interest in their future in creating technology as well as to those students who are employed or participate in internships. This scholarship can be used at any U.S. college/university for tuition, books, fees and other costs related to attending, except room and board.

Eligible applicants:

  • All Berrien County high school seniors
Laurie Peapples with her 2022 recipient Vincent Bogucki.
Laurie Peapples with 2022 recipient Vincent Bogucki.

This is a renewable scholarship of up to $4,000 — dispersed over two years — established by the Lehmann and Peapples families to benefit students going into the trades or other technical programs. Eligible applicants need a 2.0 GPA or higher and demonstrate financial need. This scholarship is geared toward students planning to attend an accredited trade school or trades training program at a college. Some examples of trades are: electrical, tool & die, construction, plumber, welding, HVAC, etc.

Eligible applicants:

  • All Berrien County high school seniors
Committee member Barbara Sistrunk with 2022 recipients Andrew Van Lente and Jake Kroepel.
Barbara Sistrunk with 2022 recipients Andrew
Van Lente and Jake Kroepel. 

This is a renewable scholarship of up to $8,000 — dispersed over four years — established by Thomas and Pamela Leonard to honor Pam’s parents, C. Leonard and Marion Krall. Marion was an English teacher at Watervliet High School and Leonard was a local fruit farmer. Both were great supporters of the Watervliet High School athletic department. Eligible applicants must have a 2.5 GPA or higher and will be considered on citizenship, moral character and community involvement. Preference is given to an outstanding student-athlete who is planning to enter the education or business fields. This scholarship can be used at any U.S. college/university or trades school for tuition, books, fees and other costs related to attending, except room and board.

Eligible applicants:

  • Watervliet High School
Donors Larry and Rose Wile with their 2022 recipient Lauren Ford.
Larry and Rose Wile with 2022 recipient Lauren Ford. 

This is a non-renewable scholarship of $1,000 established in memory of Lora Wile Miller, a former teacher at Roosevelt Elementary School. The goal of this scholarship is to provide educational opportunities to students who wish to pursue a degree in education. Eligible applicants will be a graduating senior of River Valley High School or Lakeshore High School who have a 3.0 GPA or higher; show involvement in volunteer/community activities; demonstrate evidence of talent, leadership, dedication and a desire to help others. Preference may be given to those studying elementary education. This scholarship can be used at any U.S. college/university for tuition, books, fees and other costs related to attending, except room and board.

Eligible applicants:

  • Lakeshore High School 
  • River Valley High School
2022 recipient Mikaela Van Hoven.
2022 recipient Mikaela Van Hoven.

This is a renewable scholarship of up to $2,000 — dispersed over two years — established by the Marion and Dan Crossman to provide educational opportunities for students going into the field of education. Ideal candidates will be majoring in the field of education, demonstrate financial need and have a history of community service in outside volunteer work and/or a job. This scholarship can be used at any U.S. college/university for tuition, books, fees and other costs related to attending, except room and board.

Eligible applicants:

  • All Berrien County high school seniors
BCF Board Member John Guiness and wife Barbara Guiness with 2022 recipient Zoe Price.
BCF Board Member John Guiness and wife Barbara Guiness
with 2022 recipient Zoe Price.

This is a non-renewable scholarship of $1,000 established to benefit students going into the trades, nursing, environmental studies or in the medical technician fields. Eligible students will either be a graduating senior from Bridgman, Buchanan, New Buffalo or River Valley high schools or adults who lives in Bridgman, Buchanan, Galien, Harbert, Lakeside, New Buffalo, Sawyer, Three Oaks or Union Pier. Preference may be given to applicants who are current or past graduates of River Valley schools. Applicants must have a 3.0 GPA or higher, demonstrate financial need and show a work ethic through work history. Ideal candidates will be pursuing a career in trades, nursing, environmental studies or in the medical technician fields. Preference may also be given to students attending community college or trade school but other public schools will be considered. This scholarship can be used at any U.S. college/university or trades school for tuition, books, fees and other costs related to attending, except room and board.

Eligible applicants:

  • Bridgman High School
  • Buchanan High School
  • River Valley High School
  • New Buffalo High School
  • Adult/returning/non-traditional/current college students 

This is a non-renewable scholarship of $1,000 made possible by the Michigan Grape Society.  The Michigan Grape Society is a grower organization representing grape growers, processors and wineries in Southwest Michigan. Eligible applicants are a graduating high school senior or a current college student. The ideal candidate will be a resident of Southwest Michigan, demonstrate financial need and be pursuing the study of viticulture with an emphasis on the Lake Michigan Shore American Viticultural Area. This scholarship can be used at any U.S. college/university for tuition, books, fees and other costs related to attending, except room and board.

Eligible applicants:

  • All Berrien County high school seniors
  • Adult/returning/non-traditional/current college students 
Donors Tim and Lee Passaro with their 2022 recipient Rileigh Wine.
Tim and Lee Passaro with 2022 recipient Rileigh Wine.

This is a non-renewable scholarship of up to $1,000 established by Tim and Lee Passaro to honor students committed to volunteer work. They wanted to give back to the communities of Benton Harbor, Bridgman, Stevensville and St. Joseph. Applicants must be graduating high school seniors and have a 2.0 GPA or higher. They will also demonstrate volunteer and community involvement outside of church or school that benefit the communities of Benton Harbor, Bridgman, Stevensville or St. Joseph. This scholarship can be used at any U.S. college/university for tuition, books, fees and other costs related to attending, except room and board.

Eligible applicants:

  • All Berrien County high school seniors
Donor Patricia Kutz with her 2022 recipient Katriana Meyer.
Patricia Kutz with 2022 recipient Katriana Meyer.

This is a non-renewable scholarship of up to $1,000 established by Patricia Gagliardo Kutz in memory of her parents, Dwight “Curly” and Marie Holland, and Michael Gagliardo to benefit students going into the skilled trades or other technical (vocational) programs. Dwight was a general contractor; Marie, a bookkeeper; and Michael, a cobbler.

Eligible applicants need a 2.0 GPA or higher and demonstrate financial need. This scholarship is geared toward students planning to attend an accredited trade school or trades training program at a two- or four-year college and pursue a career path like construction or other trade programs such as carpentry, plumbing, HVAC, electrician, masonry as well as administrative assistant general office occupations and/or business management programs. Preference may also be given to a student who participates in a Habitat for Humanity (or similar serviceable organization) project or who has work-related experience. This scholarship can be used at any U.S. college/university or trades school for tuition, books, fees and other costs related to attending, except room and board.

Eligible applicants:

  • All Berrien County high school seniors
  • Adult/returning/non-traditional/current college students 
Donor Teri Freehling with her 2022 recipients Lillian Moore and Rachel Madison.
Teri Freehling with 2022 recipients Lillian Moore and Rachel
Madison.

This is a non-renewable scholarship of $2,500 established by Teri Freehling and her daughters, Marissa and Natalie, in honor of Patrick Freehling. This scholarship is to help students with financial need who display academic achievement, a commitment to serving others (in school, their community or at home), a strong work ethic, leadership qualities and an interest in a career in agriculture or the trades. This scholarship is intended to help individuals who share Patrick's perseverance and service orientation to pursue a degree from an accredited institution in agricultural science or certification from an accredited vocational/technical program.

Eligible applicants will be majoring in an agricultural field (including but not limited to: animal husbandry, pre-veterinarian or veterinary tech, soil conservation, or agricultural science) or who will attend a vocational/trade school. Eligible applicants will be aged 17-20 and show academic achievement by having attained a high school diploma or a GED/High School Equivalency Diploma in the previous or current year. Ideal candidates will demonstrate financial need and have been an exhibitor at the Berrien County Youth Fair for a minimum of five years. This scholarship can be used at any U.S. college/university or trades school for tuition, books, fees and other costs related to attending, except room and board.

Eligible applicants:

  • All Berrien County high school seniors
  • Adult/returning/non-traditional/current college students 
Donor Amy Porritt-Peirce with her 2022 recipient Livinia Rosenthal.
Amy Porritt-Peirce with 2022 recipient Livinia Rosenthal.

This scholarship was established in loving memory of Arlene B. Porritt, who passed away in May 2005. Dedicated to her family and community with a desire to encourage students to further their education, Mrs. Porritt was an outstanding educator before retiring from the classroom to start her family. She and her husband, the late Dr. John L. Porritt, and their five children moved to St. Joseph in 1964, becoming valued members of the community and spending the next 41 years raising her family, teaching life-long lessons of family, unity and love. “Nana,” as she was known by her 15 grandchildren, loved to take them to visit the Curious Kids’ Museum. She felt great satisfaction seeing her grandchildren challenge their brains and have fun with the whole family.

The Porritt family and dear friends established this scholarship to enrich the educational experiences of those students who volunteer and/or are employed at the Curious Kids’ Museum. This scholarship is a legacy combining her special love for family, children and the irreplaceable value of education. This is a non-renewable scholarship of $1,000 for graduating high school seniors who have worked or volunteered at the Curious Kids’ Museum for a minimum of 10 hours between eighth grade and junior year. Applicants are required to have a 3.0 GPA or higher and have a strong sense of community evidenced by volunteer/community activities. This scholarship can be used at any U.S. college/university or trades school for tuition, books, fees and other costs related to attending, except room and board.

Eligible applicants:

  • All Berrien County high school seniors
Donor Rodney Weir with his 2022 recipient Garrett Brackett.
Rodney Weir with 2022 recipient Garrett Brackett.

This is a non-renewable scholarship of $1,000 established by Rodney Weir because he wants to encourage current high school seniors and college students to continue pursuing their love of band music. His experience in the Coloma High School marching band and the University of Michigan marching band taught him about teamwork, discipline and the importance of hard work. When he graduated Coloma High School in 1988, he never expected he would be performing with the University of Michigan on national television as their drum major for two years. He wants to encourage students in band that anything is possible when you put in the work.

Eligible applicants will be graduating high school seniors or college students in their first four years of college who will be playing in their college marching band. They will have a 2.5 GPA or higher and demonstrate financial need. Students who receive this scholarship may re-apply and receive it again while pursuing their undergraduate degree. Preference will be given to students who have participated in marching band at Coloma High School and those participating in marching band at the University of Michigan, but other schools will be considered. This scholarship can be used at any U.S. college/university for tuition, books, fees and other costs related to attending, except room and board.

Eligible applicants:

  • All Berrien County high school seniors
  • Adult/returning/non-traditional/current college students 
  • Previous recipients
BCF Board Member Tom Nelson with 2022 recipient Hailey Hentz.
BCF Board Member Tom Nelson with 2022 recipient Hailey Hentz.

This is a renewable scholarship of $1,000 established to provide educational opportunities for deserving students who wish to pursue a degree at an accredited school in Michigan, Indiana or Illinois. Applicants must hold a 2.5 GPA or higher and be pursuing a bachelor’s degree in journalism or broadcasting. Preference will be given to students demonstrating financial need. This scholarship can be used at any college/university in Michigan, Indiana or Illinois for tuition, books, fees and other costs related to attending, except room and board.

Eligible applicants:

  • All Berrien County high school seniors
Scholarship representative Matthew Ford with 2022 recipient Joshton Szczepanski.
Matthew Ford with 2022 recipient Joshton Szczepanski.

This is a non-renewable scholarship of $5,000 established by Sondra J. and Kenneth W. Kaminski in honor of Sondra. They would like to give back to the community in Saint Joseph. Eligible applicants will be from Our Lady of the Lake High School or St. Joseph High School and have a 3.0 GPA or higher. They will demonstrate financial need, volunteer/community involvement and good citizenship. It is preferable that this scholarship is used at Western Michigan University, however it may be used at any other four-year college/university for tuition, books, fees and other costs related to attending, except room and board.

Eligible applicants:

  • Our Lady of the Lake High School
  • St. Joseph High School
Scholarship representative Matthew Ford with 2022 recipient Seth Walters.
Matthew Ford with 2022 recipient Seth Walters.

This is a non-renewable scholarship of $5,000 established by Sondra J. and Kenneth W. Kaminski in honor of Sondra. They would like to give back to the soccer students from Saint Joseph and Our Lady of the Lake high schools. Eligible applicants will be graduating from Our Lady of the Lake High School or St. Joseph High School and who will be playing soccer in college. Applicants must have a 3.0 GPA or higher, demonstrate financial need, volunteer/community involvement and good citizenship. It may be used at any other four-year college/university for tuition, books, fees and other costs related to attending, except room and board.

Eligible applicants:

  • Our Lady of the Lake High School
  • St. Joseph High School
BCF Board Member Tom Nelson with 2022 recipient Azizah Muhammad.
BCF Board Member Tom Nelson with 2022 recipient Azizah Muhammad.

This is a non-renewable scholarship of $1,000 established by the St. Joseph High School Class of 1970 to provide educational opportunities for deserving female Benton Harbor High School students. Applicants must hold a 2.5 GPA or higher and demonstrate financial need along with the determination to succeed. This scholarship can be used at any U.S. college/university or trades school for tuition, books, fees and other costs related to attending, except room and board.

Eligible applicants:

  • Benton Harbor High School

This is a renewable scholarship of up to $3,000 — dispersed over four years — established by the Marsh family. Eligible applicants must be graduating seniors from River Valley High School, pursue a career of business or medicine, have a 3.0 GPA or higher, and demonstrate financial need and good character. This scholarship can be used at any U.S. college/university or trades school for tuition, books, fees and other costs related to attending, except room and board.

Eligible applicants:

  • River Valley High School 
Donors Eric and Traci Stoub with their 2022 recipient Stuart Lundberg.
Eric and Traci Stoub with 2022 recipient Stuart Lundberg.

This is a renewable scholarship of up to $2,000 — dispersed over two years — established by Traci and Eric Stoub, and their daughter Callahan Stoub to reward students who have worked while going to school over three summers and/or throughout the school year. Preference is given to students who may be unable to receive need-based financial aid but can still demonstrate a need for financial help to get through college. Eligible applicants will be a graduating high school senior or community college student who plans to pursue a degree in non-STEM fields (including business). Preference may be given to students who demonstrate entrepreneurial ambitions. This scholarship can be used at any U.S. college/university for tuition, books, fees and other costs related to attending, except room and board.

Eligible applicants:

  • All Berrien County high school seniors
Committee member Kathy Stady with 2022 recipient Molly McVay.
Kathy Stady with 2022 recipient Molly McVay.

This is a non-renewable scholarship of $1,000 established by the Human Trafficking Task Force to honor and raise awareness for victims of human trafficking and to support those who would work in a health-related field or criminal justice field to be able to serve the victims of human trafficking. Eligible applicants will be a graduating senior or current college student attending Southwestern Michigan College or Lake Michigan College. The ideal candidate will have demonstrated a commitment to raising awareness for human trafficking. This student will have a career goal set in a profession related to medicine or criminal justice. Applicants must live in Berrien, Cass or Van Buren counties, have a 2.5 GPA or higher and provide evidence of financial need. This scholarship may be used for tuition books, fees and other costs related to attending, except room and board. 

Eligible applicants:

  • All Berrien County high school seniors
  • Current college students
Committee member Meryle Merritt with 2022 recipients Olivia Schroeder and Vincent Tedesco.
Meryle Merritt with 2022 recipients Olivia Schroeder
and Vincent Tedesco.

This is a renewable scholarship of up to $6,000 — dispersed over four years — made possible by a gift from Josephine and Richard Trefz. Josephine and Richard were a hard-working couple who wisely purchased beachfront property in 1953. After living on this property for over a decade, they sold it to Lincoln Township. This land was combined with additional property to become Lincoln Township Park. The funds from this sale were invested in a charitable remainder trust to help take care of Josephine and her siblings during their lifetimes. Upon their deaths, the remainder was predominantly distributed to the Berrien Community Foundation to create this scholarship fund as a way to help students with financial need attend college. Josephine’s siblings all went to college and it was something that she wanted for herself. Through this fund, Josephine will provide many students with the opportunity to get the college education she so greatly desired.

Eligible applicants will be a graduating high school senior of a Berrien County school who shows financial need and demonstrates community service. Students must have a 2.5 GPA or higher and be involved in volunteer activities. This scholarship can be used at any U.S. college/university or trades school for tuition, books, fees and other costs related to attending, except room and board.

Eligible applicants:

  • All Berrien County high school seniors
Donors Sandy and Fred Welch with their 2022 recipient Ja'juan Walker.
Sandy and Fred Welch with 2022 recipient Ja'juan
Walker.

This is a non-renewable scholarship of $1,000 established by the Welch family to provide educational opportunities for deserving students living in the 49022 ZIP code and demonstrating financial need. Applicants must hold a 2.5 GPA or higher, demonstrate good character and determination to succeed. This scholarship can be used at any U.S. college/university or trades school for tuition, books, fees and other costs related to attending, except room and board.

Eligible applicants:

  • All Berrien County high school seniors
Donor Jacob Wilson with his 2022 recipient WIlliam Gibson.
Jacob Wilson with 2022 recipient William Gibson.

This is a non-renewable scholarship of $1,000 established by the Wilson family to provide educational opportunities for deserving students pursuing a career in a STEM-related field. Applicants must live in Berrien, Cass or St. Joseph counties, have a 3.0 GPA or higher and provide evidence of financial need. Preference will be given to students graduating from Brandywine High School. This scholarship can be used at any U.S. college/university for tuition, books, fees and other costs related to attending, except room and board.

Eligible applicants:

  • All Berrien County high school seniors
  • Students who live in Cass or St. Joseph Counties