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Published on November 03, 2020

On November 1, the Community Choice Foundation officially launched its 2021 Scholarship Program. It is one of the credit union’s greatest accomplishments because it allows it to reach beyond the walls of its 21 member centers and offer a helping hand to all deserving students.

This year, the Foundation will again offer $100,000 in scholarships – 15, $5,000 scholarships for graduating high school seniors; six, $2,500 scholarships for continuing education or recertification; and four, $2,500 for skilled trade training.

This popular program has been rewarding students since 2009. In all, $1.2 million has been awarded by the Foundation.

With the cost of higher education continuing to climb, applying for one of these scholarships is a fantastic opportunity to get some financial relief. While there is a GPA requirement − 3.0 for high school seniors and continuing education, and 2.5 (or a 450 or higher on the GED test) − the Foundation is equally impressed by students who are dedicated to helping their communities.

The application will ask you to list your community activities and to write an essay about the importance of community activism. You will also have the opportunity to share how you plan to make Michigan a better place to live and work.

And this is where you, as an applicant, can really set yourself apart. Tell us your story! Explain who you are and what you care about. Write about your dreams, and how you plan to make tomorrow brighter than today.

The Foundation’s interest in all these intangibles is what makes these scholarships so special; it’s not just about your grade point average, it’s about you.

And remember, these scholarships aren’t just for high school seniors. Last year, in an effort to meet the changing needs of Michigan’s economy, four scholarships were added for skilled trade education and six for continuing education or certification programs. These additions allowed the Foundation to reach even more students in need and filled a critical void in available scholarship dollars.

The skilled trade scholarship category is especially exciting because there aren’t many like it in Michigan. It is designed for anyone considering training as an electrician, plumber, machinist, tool and die maker, welder, chef, dental assistant, hairdresser, and the list goes on and on. Last year’s winners were studying software development, HVACR, graphic design, and culinary arts.

The Foundation was so proud to make a difference in the lives and careers of these non-traditional students. The scholarship can be used to cover the training, as well as the tools and study materials.

Equally as exciting was the addition of continuing education and certification scholarships. So often, students put their education on hold because scholarship funds are not as easy to come by for graduate school or to finish an undergraduate degree. And for those looking for a certification program, a scholarship can mean the difference between a job or a fulfilling, life-changing career.

For instance, to earn certification in project management, some programs require 18 credit hours at almost $400 per hour. Some software certifications can cost up to $20,000.

You can find the links to the application, the due date, and other materials at

Give it a try. You have nothing to lose and a happy, fulfilling career to gain. Good luck to all the applicants.

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