For students from the Alpena area, big dreams can become reality, and Annele Johnson Richards is honored to be part of fueling those students’ futures.
“I hope students that receive this scholarship will go on to be leaders in science, engineering, medicine, computers, or artificial intelligence and that they are the creators of the products and services to ethically support our planet and people in the future,” Richards says of her hopes for the Annele Richards Scholarship Fund she established at CFNEM in 2018.
A graduate of Alpena High School, Richards is now the Detroit-based Director of Technical Delivery for the Azure Cloud & Artificial Intelligence (AC & AI ) group within Microsoft.
Giving back to the community she grew up in, and where her family still resides, seemed like an opportunity to make an impact on students for years to come. And Microsoft helped as well through its employee matching program, matching up to $15,000 each year on employee charitable contributions.
Richards says the matching program has enabled her to make a greater impact for the organizations she cares for deeply.
The Annele Richards Scholarship Fund specifically will support students who will study in a STEM field (Science, Technology, Engineering, Mathematics).
“I felt by focusing on STEM-related studies it could potentially enable our future leaders to create amazing things, whether that is in science or technology; and working with CFNEM made it very easy to do” she says. “Maybe the next scholarship recipient will be the first woman to land and create a colony on Mars!”