Recipients revealed for scholarship program

By: Andy Kozlowski | Sterling Heights Sentry | Published June 25, 2021

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STERLING HEIGHTS — Twenty-one students have been announced as winners in the Sterling Heights Area Community Foundation’s annual scholarship program, receiving a combined $21,000. The foundation and nine sponsor partners award the funds to college-bound students and current college students who live in and around Sterling Heights.

It’s a tradition that the foundation has maintained for more than 20 years now. The program began in 1999 and, to date, has benefited more than 480 students with funds totaling $432,000.

BAE Systems awarded two $1,000 scholarships to students pursuing undergraduate degrees in the fields of science, technology, engineering and/or mathematics, also called STEM. The two recipients were Kyle Rodriguez and Ariela Stenai, both of Sterling Heights.

Rodriguez graduates this month from Gene L. Klida Utica Academy for International Studies with a 4.14 GPA and will attend the University of Michigan to pursue a degree in computer science that he hopes to apply toward a career in artificial intelligence and human-tech interaction.

Stenai graduates this month from Stevenson High School with a 3.61 GPA and will attend Michigan State University to pursue a career in medicine or biomedical science.

General Dynamics Land Systems awarded two $1,000 scholarships, as well, also to STEM students in the Sterling Heights area. The recipients were Ryan Boring and Aarushi Parmar.

Boring graduates this month from Gene L. Klida Utica Academy for International Studies with a 4.22 GPA and plans to attend the University of Michigan to pursue a degree in computer science and a career in software development.

Parmar graduated last year from the International Academy in Bloomfield Hills with a 4.38 GPA and is attending Saint Louis University to pursue a doctorate of physical therapy degree.

The Macomb County Chiropractic Association awarded five $1,000 scholarships to students pursuing careers in chiropractic health care. The five recipients are Sloan Butzin, Adriell Desero, Bailey Kamego, Matthew Rayis and Aaron Sakevich.

Butzin is from Washington Township. She graduates from Lutheran North High this year and will attend Xavier University for her bachelor’s degree in nursing, and then plans to attend graduate school to study chiropractics, following her father, Dr. Jason Butzin, who practices in Sterling Heights.

Desero, of Shelby Township, currently attends the Palmer College of Chiropractic, pursuing her doctorate degree in chiropractics. She will graduate in 2023.

Kamego, of Washington Township, graduated from Romeo High in 2018; attends Western Michigan University, studying exercise science; and plans to attend Palmer College of Chiropractic, following in the footsteps of his father. Kamego maintained a 4.0 GPA at Albion College before transferring to Western Michigan.

Rayis, of Sterling Heights, graduated from Stevenson High in 2016 and Michigan State in 2020. He currently attends the National University of Health Sciences in Lombard, Illinois, and is pursuing a doctorate degree in chiropractic medicine.

Sakevich attends Keiser University in West Palm Beach, Florida, studying for his doctor of chiropractic degree. He is currently working on his externship at the John D. Dingell Veteran’s Administration Medical Center hospital in Detroit, and has been a personal trainer since 2007.

One student received the Mayor Richard J. Notte Scholarship for Government Public Service, worth $1,000. This went to Alexa Clampitt, of Sterling Heights, who graduates this month from the Gene L. Klida Utica Academy for International Studies with a 4.02 GPA. She has been accepted to Ohio Northern University, where she will study philosophy, politics and economics, and she plans to attend law school, build a career as an attorney, run for Congress and become a legislator.

The Ronald Himmler Science Scholarships, worth $1,000 apiece, went to three students at Sterling Heights who are pursuing a college or vocational degree in a science field: Mackenzie Conrad, graduating from Henry Ford II High this month with a 3.8 GPA, who plans to study medical laboratory sciences at Oakland University; Teresa Lee, graduating from Sterling Heights High this year with a 4.48 GPA, who plans to attend the University of Michigan to study chemistry and chemical engineering; and Rohit Ray, a student at Stevenson High with a 4.19 GPA, who plans to attend the University of Michigan majoring in biology.

The Rotary Club of Sterling Heights awarded two $1,000 scholarships. One went to Aronor (Ronald) Chisholm, who graduates this month from Troy Athens High with a 3.9 GPA and will attend Michigan State to pursue a business degree, with plans to attend the Eli Broad College of Business.

The other scholarship went to Grace Dishow, who graduates from Henry Ford II High this month with a 3.6 GPA. She will attend Oakland University to major in biology, pre-med, to become a medical physician and ultimately an orthopedic surgeon.

The Selfridge ANG/Base Community awarded one $1,000 scholarship to Kaitlyn Sierakowski, from Metamora. She graduated last year from Lapeer High and currently attends Michigan State, where she is in the honors college studying nursing.

The Sterling Heights Area Community Foundation itself awarded three $1,000 scholarships. The recipients are Mitchell Mandziuk, graduating from Bishop Foley Catholic High with a 3.54 GPA and heading to Wayne State to study mortuary science, looking to follow in the footsteps of his grandfather, father and mother as a third-generation funeral director at his family’s funeral home in Sterling Heights; Faith Simon, graduating from International Academy East this month with a 4.07 GPA and who plans to attend Grand Valley State to pursue a degree in speech and language pathology; and Amanda Young, graduating this month from Adlai E. Stevenson High with a GPA of 3.74, who plans to attend Spelman College to pursue a degree in health science, and then a master’s degree in communication sciences and disorders, majoring in speech-language pathology.

The Sterling Heights City Manager Professional Public Management Scholarship, worth $1,000, went to Brooke Simmer, of Sterling Heights, who graduated from Armada High in 2018 and is attending Oakland University, pursuing a degree in public administration. She plans to pursue a master’s degree in the same field and pursue a public administration career in Michigan.

Vibe Credit Union also awarded a $1,000 scholarship, to Amelia Borchich, who graduates this month from Gene L. Klida Utica University for International Studies with a 3.98 GPA. She plans to attend an accelerated five-year industrial/organizational psychology program at the University of Detroit Mercy.

“The Foundation applauds each of its scholarship program partners for their encouragement and support of Sterling Heights area high school seniors pursuing a college or vocational degree,” Karl Oskoian, the executive director and president emeritus of the Sterling Heights Area Community Foundation, said in a statement.

“Community leaders like our nine scholarship partners make a difference in the lives of not only the students, but they help the community at large,” he said. “We are fortunate to have companies and businesses like our scholarship partners come forward and make a difference in the lives of these deserving young students.”

Added Michael Taylor, the mayor of Sterling Heights, in an email: “Education is fundamental to preparing our citizens for active participation in a democratic and global society. Giving our local students some of the necessary funding to further their education and hone their ability to be critical thinkers and inquirers is absolutely key to continuing to make our world a better place. We’re so grateful for the many great corporate citizens and community partners who funded these scholarships, and grateful to the foundation for administering the program each year.”