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This spring, we awarded $621,140 in scholarships to 220 area students. The GHACF holds over 125 scholarship funds with varying criteria, such as financial need, academic achievements, and field of study. Another factor our scholarship committee considers is if a student would be among the first in their family in their generation to continue their education after high school. This year, we were able to award scholarships to 32 first-generation students.

Our scholarship applicants come from all walks of life and have their own passions and interests. The foundation and our scholarship committee is committed to assessing each student equitably. Students’ backgrounds — the places they come from, their life experiences, and the resources available to them — make a difference in how they approach their applications. We take all of these factors into account when evaluating applications.

We continue to be grateful for our donors that value education — establishing scholarship funds that honor or memorialize a loved one, encourage students as they pursue specific fields, to support study at certain institutions, and to bridge the gap for students in need. Without their generosity, we would not have been able to award 258 scholarships to 220 students, with an average award package of $2,800. As the cost of post-secondary credentials continues to rise, we remain committed to supporting our local students.

“I would like to thank you for the Ray and Sue Barrett Scholarship Fund. This will give me the opportunity to attend college with less worry regarding the cost. I plan to study psychology, and become a therapist or school counselor. I am honored to accept this scholarship due to the meaning behind it. Mental health has become a growing issue in not only my own generation, but for people all over the world.”

— Delaney Ellicott, Spring Lake High School
Ray and Sue Barrett Scholarship Fund recipient



“When I had received an email notifying me that I was awarded this scholarship, I had jumped out of my chair with excitement to go and tell my parents of my attainment. As expected, they too were very enthusiastic about my selection for this scholarship. I couldn’t thank you more for your support to pursue my aspirations as well as the acknowledgement of my academic achievements both physically or emotionally.”

— Mikkel Masko, Grand Haven High School
Zenko Family Fund recipient



“As a first-generation immigrant, going to school without relying on financial aid or scholarships would have been nearly impossible. My mother was a refugee during the Vietnam war as a teenager and was never able to finish high school. She’s been a single mother raising me her whole life and as much as she’s sacrificed for me, unfortunately it’s not enough for me to afford a college education. I am so eternally grateful that I’ve been given the opportunity to be able to pursue an education that my parents were never able to themselves. Thank you so much for believing in my abilities and giving me the chance to use my abilities to help others.”

— Len Tran, Grand Valley State University
Marion A. and Ruth K. Sherwood, Current College Scholarship Fund recipient


Visit our scholarship page for a full list of our scholarship recipients and funds.