Correction Made on June 29,2020: We received over 100 applications from 26 different high schools and one home schooled student across our footprint. The 12 2020 winners came from 8 of those high schools and one was a home schooled student.
ChoiceOne Bank has awarded a one-time, need-based scholarship of $1,000 to12 seniors in eight different community high schools and one home school. Seniors were asked to submit a 500 word or less essay explaining their experience with community service, why they got involved, who benefited, and how the student benefited. Spanning Michigan, ChoiceOne serves markets in both West and Southeastern Michigan. Six winners were selected from each market.
“As the local community bank, we are committed to the families in our communities across Michigan,” said ChoiceOne Bank President Mike Burke. “Our seniors are our next generation of community leaders and customers. We believe it’s important for them to realize the benefits of being raised and educated in caring and supportive local communities.”
The ChoiceOne Bank Scholarship Essay Contest was held from February 27 to March 27, but was extended through April because of the coronavirus pandemic. 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 from schools in ChoiceOne’s communities planning to attend an accredited two-year or four-year college in Michigan for the fall of 2020.
Open to local high schools in each of the Bank’s 29 locations, eight high schools participated – Holton, Fremont, Kent City, Rockford, Imlay City, Lapeer, Croswell-Lexington, Yale, and one home school. Here are several accounts that capture the essense of the community essay:
- Rockford High School: This student wrote about the weekly can drives he hosted to raise money for his friend's dad who has terminal cancer.
- Holton High School: This student wrote about her knowledge and the value of local blood donations.
- Lapeer High School: This student wrote about her ability to help translate in the emergency room to help keep a patient calm.
“We truly value the youth in our communities,” said Burke. “The students who participated in this contest also volunteered thousands of hours of community service. Their accomplishments highlight the spirit of giving and dedication to their communities and demonstrate the importance they have already placed on community service. As parents, it is our hope that our students return to their roots to raise their families and grow their businesses. It is definitely a local thing.”