Chamber announces first annual scholarship award

By: Tiffany Esshaki | Birmingham - Bloomfield Eagle | Published May 6, 2019

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BIRMINGHAM — The Birmingham Bloomfield Chamber of Commerce is arguably the biggest support resource for businesses in the Eagle’s coverage area.

Sometimes, that means helping the people who could someday run those businesses get a leg up.

The chamber, through its 501(c)(3) foundation created in 2018, will for the first time award several scholarships to seniors graduating from local high schools to pursue studies at a Michigan community college, trade school or four-year university. Joe Bauman, the president of the Birmingham Bloomfield Chamber of Commerce and its foundation, said this is the first significant action for the new foundation. While this round of awards will be supported by a three-year funding commitment from the chamber, he said the hope is that the foundation will be self-sustaining after that time.

“(The program) was created in part to support our nonprofit partners and encourage young people to learn in the state of Michigan and stay after graduation,” Bauman said in an email.

Four scholarships, valued at up to $2,500, will be awarded on an annual basis, according to Bauman. To apply, seniors need to be employed by a chamber member business or be an immediate family member of an employee of a chamber member business. The deadline to apply is May 30.

“We’d like to help people grow in their journey to an education, no matter what that is — tech school, going to college or getting an advanced degree,” said Don Lee, a member of the BBCC’s board of directors. “This really gives us the opportunity to be closer to our community and allocate dollars to make people successful.”

Applicants must complete an application and write a 600-word essay for consideration of the scholarship. No interviews are planned, and materials will be reviewed by members of the foundation’s scholarship committee.

To get an application for the inaugural Birmingham Bloomfield Chamber Foundation scholarship, visit bbcc.com.

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