June 18, 2018
ALPENA - One-hundred thirty-two scholarships were awarded to students from Alcona, Alpena, Montmorency and Presque Isle Counties on Friday, June 15th in Alpena at the 23rd Annual Scholarship Recognition Luncheon hosted by the Community Foundation for Northeast Michigan (CFNEM). Fifty-three unique scholarship funds established by generous members of communities throughout the four-county area in northeast Michigan made these scholarships possible.
“Several scholarships were awarded for the first time this year, while others are familiar scholarships that have been awarded for decades,” said Patrick Heraghty, CFNEM Executive Director. “Every single one of these scholarships represents an incredible legacy that individuals and families in northeast Michigan have created, helping future generations to pursue education and training after high school.”
In 2018, once all scholarships are designated, approximately $500,000 will be awarded throughout the Community Foundation’s nine-county service area, which includes three affiliate foundations. $223,000 of those scholarships are new awards generated this year for students from Alcona, Alpena, Montmorency and Presque Isle Counties, some of which are multi-year awards.
“The Scholarship Review Committee really has their work cut out for them every year,” said Julie Wiesen, CFNEM Program Director. “These students have so many demands placed on them in a very competitive atmosphere, yet they still make time to volunteer, pursue extracurricular interests, and/or have a job.”
Keynoting this year’s scholarship awards ceremony was 2009 Alpena High School graduate Adam Crowell. In 2016, Adam became the youngest donor to walk through the Foundation's doors to establish a fund after losing his grandfather, mother and father within a span of six months.
"I am here today as living proof that good can come from tragedy. In the wake of the loss of our parents and grandfather, my brother Ethan and I chose not to wallow in self-pity, but instead to celebrate the memory of our loved ones," Crowell told the crowd. "We chose to partner with Community Foundation for Northeast Michigan to establish the Crowell/Wegmeyer Family Memorial Scholarship as a way to honor their legacy and the things they valued: family, education, and community."
“We were so honored that Adam agreed to speak at our event,” said Heraghty. “As young philanthropists, Adam and his brother, Ethan, had the foresight and giving heart to think about supporting future generations as a way to honor their family members, and his words were an inspiration to all.”
"Our story is but one of the many that make up the rich tapestry of this city and foundation. It is because of these stories that every award granted today is possible," said Crowell. "Take the time to speak with the donors here today and hear the stories behind their awards. It is because of the generosity of these donors, the support of the community, and love and compassion of the families gathered here that you wonderful young people are being recognized for your achievements."
One of the unique aspects of the CFNEM scholarship program is that many of its scholarships are not just determined by academic achievement. Each scholarship reflects the intentions of the donor, and in some cases, that means the emphasis is placed on student interests such as farming, a trade such as welding or plumbing, the arts, or healthcare. All graduating seniors are encouraged to apply for scholarships, regardless of whether they plan to attend a trade certification program, community college or a four-year university.
The Community Foundation urges all parents and teachers to encourage and support their students to start planning early for college or training opportunities well before they graduate from high school. Dual Enrollment, Advanced Placement and Early-College programs are great ways for students to gain real university-level learning experiences, as well as transferable college credits that can help reduce the high price tag of a degree or certificate.
The Community Foundation for Northeast Michigan is a nonprofit charitable organization committed to providing people who care about the future of our area with unique and effective ways of supporting their community now, and for generations to come.