BCF awards $185,000 in scholarships

Winners of Berrien Community Foundation scholarships gather for a picture at the BCF Scholarship Celebration at Lake Michigan College.

BENTON HARBOR — The Berrien Community Foundation celebrated a group of Berrien County’s most outstanding students, leaders and volunteers at the 2018 BCF Scholarship Celebration last month at Lake Michigan College.

The event marked the largest amount of scholarships given away in the organization’s history, with more than $185,000 awarded for the 2018-19 school year. Between newly awarded and renewable scholarships, 111 scholarships will be distributed next school year.

“We have such amazing donors,” Lisa Cripps-Downey, president of the foundation, said in a news release. “They truly care about helping to make college a more affordable option for students, and to honor the hard work and leadership of these young people.”

This year, four new scholarships were added: the Rodney Weir Coloma Marching Band Scholarship, the Upton Opportunity Scholarship, the Southwest Michigan Human Trafficking Task Force Scholarship, and the Trefz Family Scholarship.

Volunteers reviewed more than 250 applications to select the this year’s recipients. Committee members scored the applications, and then selected winners.

“Our hope is that wherever you go, when you reach success in your careers, that you will look around you and see the needs,” Cripps-Downey told scholars at the celebration, “that you will come back to the community foundation and say, ‘Can you connect me with a need in my community?’ just like the generous donors who are sitting with you tonight did.”

Scholarships and recipients honored this year were:

• All God’s Children Community Choir Scholarship: Cameron Hampton (Lakeshore), Robert Reed (Benton Harbor), Ainesh Shintre (La Lumiere – La Porte, Ind.), Catherine Weber (Michigan Connections Academy).

• Edna Bender Scholarship: Gabby Turbyfill (Berrien Springs).

• Berrien Community Foundation Special Recognition Scholarship: Ariel Higgins (St. Joseph).

• Bryce Boothby Family Scholarship: Stacy Pullen (Benton Harbor).

• Jeffrey Evan Demko Scholarship: Madison Belli (Bridgman).

• Drews Scholar: Renee Veldman (Lakeshore).

• Dunn Scholarship: Rubicelia Monterrosas (Siena Heights University), Kimerly Thompson (Lake Michigan College).

• Felland Family Scholarship: Ashlee Thompson (Western Michigan University – Southwest), Lexis Washington (Lake Michigan College).

• Jameson Matthew Gargano Memorial Scholarship: Lydia Dunsbergen (Lakeshore), Renee Veldman (Lakeshore).

• Heart of Cook Scholarship: Everett Case (Berrien Springs), Elizabeth Kox (Bridgman), Samantha Hildebrand (Berrien Springs), Dalton Knapp (Brandywine), Erin Lafrenz (Lakeshore), Erin Schimmel (Brandywine).

• David A. Hicks Scholarship for the Arts: Ariel Higgins (St. Joseph).

• John E.N. & Dede Howard Instrumental Music Scholarship: Jonathan Barnes (Western Michigan University).

• Honor Credit Union Foundation Community Commitment Scholarship: Gabriella Hardy (St. Joseph), Anna LaSata (Lake Michigan Catholic), Imani Lee (Dream Academy), Roman Menhart (home school), Madeline Newland (St. Joseph), Mallory Spaulding (Coloma), Jaylen Vinson (Benton Harbor).

• Insurance Management Service Scholarship: Willie Roberson (Benton Harbor).

• Jon Jollay Scholarship: Julia Sternamen (Coloma).

• Sondra J. Kaminski Scholarship: Ashlyn Wetzel (St. Joseph).

• Leonard & Marion Krall Scholarship: Kara Liles (Watervliet).

• Ronald H. Miller Journalism Scholarship: Nora Duncan (home school).

• Terence Joseph Mulvihill Scholarship: Felix De Simone (New Buffalo).

• Carol A. Oehlhaffen Lake Michigan Catholic Scholar: Jesse Schueneman (Lake Michigan Catholic), Katherine Sullivan (Lake Michigan Catholic).

• Carol A. Oehlhaffen Youth in Philanthropy Scholarship: Claudia Applewhite (Andrews Academy).

• Cora B. Parkhurst Memorial Scholarship: Riya Patel (Berrien Springs).

• Arlene B. Porritt Memorial Scholarship for Curious Kids: Max Beltz (St. Joseph).

• Trefz Family Scholarship: Andrew Kertawidjaja (Berrien Springs), Stacy Pullen (Benton Harbor).

• Upton Opportunity Scholarship: Kelly Bickel (Niles), Sydney Champion (St. Joseph), Sarah Jackemeyer (Michigan Lutheran), Katie Koch (St. Joseph), Teah Lint (Lakeshore), Rubicelia Monterrosas (Siena Heights University), Callahan Stoub (Hillsdale College), Levi Wilkens (Coloma).

• Arthur and Bonna Vanderlyn Scholarship: Deborah Galvan (Hartford), Olivia Ziemer (Hartford).

• Rodney Weir Coloma Marching Band Scholarship: Brad Kelley (Western Michigan University).

• Welch Family Scholarship: Imani Lee (Benton Harbor), Bray Plomb (Lakeshore).

• Lora Wile-Miller Memorial Scholarship: Gabrielle Rothrock (Lakeshore).

Scholarship applications for next year will be available at high school counseling offices and on the foundation’s website in December.

For more information on how to start a scholarship, email Cripps-Downey at lisa@berriencommunity.org.

For more information on applying for a scholarship, contact Susan Matheny at susanmatheny@berriencommunity.org.