Schuele Scholarship Sends Royal Oak Senior to Michigan State

Scholarship Sends Royal Oak Senior to Michigan State

(Crystal A. Proxmire, May 30, 2018)

Royal Oak, MI – A call to the Principal’s office turned out to be an exciting surprise for Royal Oak High School senior Jana Ratzloff Friday.

She was was met by a room full of caring, excited adults to be presented with a full ride scholarship to Michigan State University.

Ratzloff was one of over 450 students who applied for the Robert A. Schuele Scholarship through the Boys and Girls Clubs of Oakland and Macomb Counties, but her story most inspired the scholarship committee.

The goal of the scholarship is to change a life.  And Ratzloff’s challenges made her the perfect candidate.  She was born in China and adopted from an orphanage as a toddler.  In 2013 a fire destroyed her adoptive family’s home, and in 2016 her adoptive mother had a stroke.  Though it all she managed to maintain A’s in school.  Her plan is to become a veterinarian.

“Your interview was spectacular,” said Bart Tinsley, Chair of the Scholarship committee. “There’s so many things that you have overcome personally and never let your grades be affected by that.  You’ve done all this volunteer work and on Saturdays you have voluntarily went and learned Mandarin, and held two jobs at the same time.  All of these things fit the criteria for the Robert A. Schuele scholarship.”

The scholarship has been given through the Boys and Girls Clubs for the past 9 years.  It is done in honor of Robert A. Schuele, who passed away unexpectedly in 2006.  Before his passing Schuele had been organizing a scholarship fund.

“His goal was to rock a world.  Not only one, but many if possible, said Tinsley said in a previous interview. Tinsley was Schuele’s college roommate and business partner.  He and other friends banded together, determined to help care for Schuele’s family and see that his dream of helping young people came true.  As they gather each year to surprise students like Ratzloff, they keep that dream alive, and help students to achieve theirs too.

Learn more at

The video below was provided by the scholarship committee…

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