ChoiceOne Bank (NASDAQ: COFS) (“ChoiceOne”) is pleased to announce 13 scholarships have been awarded in the Annual ChoiceOne Scholarship Essay Contest designed to provide needs-based scholarships for graduating seniors in the communities the Bank serves.
As the local community bank, ChoiceOne encourages and rewards graduating seniors who are motivated to obtain a degree. The ChoiceOne Scholarship awards a one-time scholarship of $1,000 to each recipient for their first year of college. ChoiceOne Bank has 34 locations serving West and Southeastern Michigan, 13 winners were selected from 11 community high schools.
“Families are the heart of our communities, and we are committed to their wellbeing,” said ChoiceOne Bank President Michael J. Burke, Jr. “Our seniors are the next generation of leaders, so it’s important for them to realize the benefits of being raised and educated in a caring and supportive community. We have been offering this contest for many years now, and it’s always an enlightening experience for all of us.”
The ChoiceOne Bank Scholarship Essay Contest began in January and ended in March. Students had to submit an application which included a 500 word or less essay about one of their community-service experiences – describing why they got involved, who benefited and how they benefited. Eligible candidates included high school seniors, GED recipients in the current calendar year that had not begun college classes, and home school students with documentation of high school equivalency and college eligibility. Students had to be graduating seniors planning to attend an accredited two-year or four-year college in Michigan for the fall of 2021.
The contest was open to local high schools within the Bank’s 34 locations. With over 180 submissions, these are the 2021 winners:
• Michelle Kober – Sparta High School
• Bridget Hosmer – Sparta High School
• Logan Petty – Cedar Springs High School
• Morgan Wawee – Coopersville High School
• Duc Ngan Chau – Wyoming High School
• Ashlyn Henderson – Montague High School
• Kyle Nelson – North Branch High School
• Kaleb June – North Branch High School
• Amelia Chavez – Lapeer High School
• Ayden Kipper – Capac High School
• Praewa Montross – Saint Clair High School
• Brooke McIntyre – Yale High School
• Natalie Nowak – Imlay City High School
The following quotes capture the essence of these community essays:
• “It was this kindness that showed me the importance of giving to others, because it allowed me to see how that help could do so much for a family in need.” Logan Petty – Cedar Springs High School• “Poverty and homelessness are issues that are present in everyone’s community and should be discussed more.” Morgan Wawee – Coopersville High School
• “Throughout this journey, I was embraced and welcomed within a group of people I could relate with which helped me to find my identity. Most importantly, I was able to help those that were in a similar situation find a sense of belonging by openly inviting them into our diversely growing community.” Praewa Montross – Saint Clair High School
• “This community service event taught me more than simply serving our fellow community members, it also taught me to take charge and be proactive when it comes to helping others.” Brooke McIntyre – Yale High School
In 2021, ChoiceOne Bank is proud to payout a total of $24,000 in scholarships. This includes our 13 winners from this year as well as honoring 11 renewable scholarships from the former Lakestone Bank & Trust. These scholarships will be paid directly to the college by ChoiceOne Bank.
“We believe it takes a community to raise a family and we take great interest in helping our youth,” said Burke. “As parents, it is our hope that our students return to their roots to raise their families and grow their businesses. Writing this essay for a potential scholarship helps our youth understand the importance of community service wherever they live.”