Chippewa Valley students receive local scholarships

By: Nick Mordowanec | C&G Newspapers | Published June 15, 2016


CLINTON TOWNSHIP — Two local high school seniors were recently honored for their academic successes.

Chippewa Valley High School students Tara Kaszubowski and Alexis Tober each received a $1,000 scholarship from the Clinton Township Friends of the Senior Center.

The scholarship program is in its second year and was established as a means to “pay it forward” and encourage members of the community to help students excel to greatness.

Both students were also honored in front of the Clinton Township Board of Trustees during its May 31 meeting.

Kaszubowski is graduating summa cum laude with a 3.9 GPA. She is a member of the National Honor Society, the Key Club and the Senior Class Council, and has received numerous academic excellence awards throughout her high school career.

She is also an active member of her community, volunteering more than 80 hours during high school in various capacities, including Habitat for Humanity, Key Club endeavors and the Coalition Teen Council, which fights against teen drug use. She will be attending Adrian College and plans to study criminal justice.

Tober is graduating with honors and a 3.45 GPA. She is a member of the National Honor Society, the Business Professionals of America and DECA, an international organization that prepares emerging leaders in business and finance.

She has also donated her efforts toward volunteer causes, contributing more than 40 hours of time to her elementary school and church, among other organizations. She will be attending Cornerstone University in Grand Rapids and plans to study finance management.

Debbie Travis, program coordinator at the Senior Center, said both students came very highly recommended by teachers, administrators and volunteer supervisors.

She said the donations come from Senior Center members, Friends of the Senior Center, and businesses in the surrounding community.

The program initially started as a result of a Christmas endeavor. In the past, the Senior Center gave trinkets — gloves, hats, scarves — to the needy. But they wanted to help more, so the scholarship program was started.

Students must be seniors, Clinton Township residents — though they can attend schools outside the township — and complete an application process delivered through high school counselors. Requirements include a minimum 3.25 GPA, a minimum of 30 hours of community service, two letters of recommendation — one from the school and one from someone in the community — and an essay.

Each submitted application receives a score based on an eight-judge panel of Senior Center members, and the two applicants with the highest scores receive the money.

“Money is given to them to use in any capacity they feel the need to supplement whatever they need in their endeavors,” Travis said. “One of the things is that it’s not given directly to the college.

“We’re pretty confident they’re going to use the money wisely. … They deserve the award. It’s almost our pleasure for (the students) to use (the money) on something that’s not academic. They’re so driven to be successful and we want them to enjoy it any way they want.”

The plan is to keep plugging along and encourage students to be their best year after year.

“We are always accepting donations and you don’t need to be a member,” Travis said. “It’s lending a hand to the success of future leaders, and seniors enjoying their influence on helping younger people.”