Foundation invites students to apply for scholarships

By: Eric Czarnik | Sterling Heights Sentry | Published January 13, 2016

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The end of the school year is still months away, but it’s not too early to begin applying for scholarships that are open to students who are planning to attend or who are already attending places of higher education. 

The Sterling Heights Community Foundation announced that it has gathered scholarship partners who are ready to give out scholarships to qualifying students in 2016. Altogether, those scholarships are worth close to $40,000, according to city officials.

During a Jan. 5 Sterling Heights City Council meeting, City Manager Mark Vanderpool alerted residents to the Community Foundation’s scholarship opportunities, as well as its deadlines. He said applications must be submitted by mid-March in order to be considered.

Vanderpool also said the city expects to announce and distribute the awards during a May City Council meeting.

“Of course, our meetings are televised, so everyone can see the excited recipients and certainly the proud parents,” he said.

City officials said that the Community Foundation has run its scholarship program for many years. Throughout its history, the foundation’s program has awarded 318 students more than $400,000 in college scholarship money, Vanderpool said.

According to Community Foundation Executive Director Karl Oskoian, the 10 scholarship partners are the same ones from previous years.

This year, the 10 sponsors are the Sterling Heights Community Foundation, the Selfridge ANG/Base Community Council, the Macomb County Chiropractic Association, the Friends of Tom Kroll, General Dynamics Land Systems, BAE Systems, former Mayor Richard J. Notte’s fund, the FCA (Fiat Chrysler Automobiles) Foundation, Ford Motor Co. and the Rotary Club of Sterling Heights, Oskoian said.

Oskoian said competition for the scholarships is typically tight because the annual campaigns usually receive hundreds of applications. A panel of judges weigh applicants’ academic acumen, extracurricular activities, community service, demonstrated leadership skills and financial need, he said.

Last year, a significant portion of the scholarships went to students from Utica Community Schools and Warren Consolidated Schools. Oskoian said the awards are open to students in the Sterling Heights area.

“The competition is very strong,” he said. “We have a strong pool of applicants, hundreds of applicants, every year. It’s very competitive, with strong grade-point averages, many of them over 4.0. … Obviously, all the award winners are outstanding young people.”

Learn more about the Sterling Heights Community Foundation by visiting www.ci.sterling-heights.mi.us/735/Community-Foundation or by calling (586) 446-2481.

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