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FHS and UHS Students Honored with Rotary Scholarships

FHS and UHS Students Honored with Rotary Scholarshipssidebar01sponsor

(Crystal A. Proxmire, April 23, 2014)

When Monae Hawthorne starts on her journey towards a Criminal Justice degree at Saginaw Valley, her load with be a little lighter thanks to a $2,000 Ferndale Rotary Scholarship. Hawthorne, a senior at University High School in Ferndale, ctechadwas one of three scholarship winners selected from among a dozen students who received honors.

David Paul and Shelby Simpson of Ferndale High School also received $2,000 awards. Paul is still contemplating his options for college, but knows he will be studying Astrophysics. Simpson will be attending Grand Valley State University for Occupational Therapy.

The students gathered with family and supporters, including Rotary members, for an awards dinner held at Blumz by Jr. Designs with food donated by Shriner’s Silver Garden. They recited the Rotary’s Four Way Test (Is it the truth? Is it fair to all Rudy Serra campaign adconcerned? Will it build goodwill and better friendships? And will it be beneficial to all concerned?), and received certificates of achievement.

Haley Jackson, Madeline Keller, Austin Kole, Janessa Madry, Sophie Michalk, Sarah Minamyer, and Dinanne Schurg were honored from FHS. Loni Moore and Jason Penn were honored from UHS.

“One of the components of getting this scholarship is community service,” said FHS counselor Kathy Wiley. “I’ve read all these essays and I know they will continue HowesLocationserving others. …We ask, why do you do that? It not only makes you feel good, but it makes the world a better place.”

Brian Alford, a counselor at UHS, shared his own journey with the students. “It seems like it was just yesterday I was sitting in these chairs like you are. And I tried to think, what was it at that time of life when I was a student, going to Purdue University on a scholarship. What would I want someone to tell me?

“Your character, who you are, how you walk on a daily basis, is what makes you succeed. Each of you young people have what you need inside of you to be successful. [You have] gifts you have been blessed with… Because you have these gifts, don’t ever take that for granted. seed020_heather_coleman_vossDon’t stop working hard. People will honor you, but don’t get a big head…. Part of being a leader is humility. Don’t take for granted your gifts.

“I flunked out of Purdue. People say, why do you tell people that? …But I had to back to community college in Kansas and take a semester just to get back into Purdue.”

Alford explained that working hard and staying focused on life goals is how to be a leader, and how to succeed.

Award winners get half of their scholarship funds in the fall, and the other half in the winter when they come back to meet with Rotary members and give feedback about their college experiences. All twelve are encouraged to stay involved, and will be invited to participate in a large community service project later in the year.

Keep up with all Ferndale Rotary activities at

For more on Ferndale Schools and

Note: A previous version of this story gave the wrong name in the first paragraph. It has been updated to reflect Monae Hawthorne. Our apologies for the error.


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