Muskegon Area Promise Scholarship

$5,765 of $100k goal

Raised by 105 people in 22 months
Megan Byard
for Muskegon County Community Foundation
 MUSKEGON, MI
LETS GET TO WORK! Our Change, Our Kids 

The Muskegon Area Promise is a unique commitment to the young people of our community—one that believes if students work hard, they will be able to earn at least a two-year college degree tuition free! Muskegon Area Promise Scholarships will fund an associate’s degree, license or certificate program at Muskegon Community College or Baker College of Muskegon. Recipient students must live in and graduate from a high school located within Muskegon Area Intermediate School District boundaries, and have a high school graduation GPA of 3.5 or higher to qualify.

A community-wide fundraising campaign called “Let’s Get to Work! Our Change, Our Kids” has been launched to establish the Promise Scholarship privately for its first few years.  Additionally, a philanthropic and corporate investment campaign is also being crafted that will work to enhance the community’s contribution effort. Business leaders, organizations and institutions are encouraged to accept the challenge and invest in the future of Muskegon County!

Our fundraising goal will ensure the eligible graduates, including the class of 2015, attending our local colleges can enroll with financial confidence! Will you help us by donating?  Muskegon County.... Let's Get to Work! 

For  more information on the Muskegon Area Promise Scholarship please visit these sites: 

http://www.muskegonisd.org/about/promise/     

http://www.muskegonopportunity.com/muskegon-county-promise-zone-2/ 

All donations by check, cash or stock transfer may be made payable to:

Community Foundation for
Muskegon County
Attn: Muskegon County Promise Campaign Fund

425 W. Western Ave., Suite 200
Muskegon, MI 49440
(231) 332-4107
www.cffmc.org


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Update 8
Posted by Megan Byard
13 months ago
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Great news Muskegon Area Promise supporters!

As seen in recent media...
Muskegon Area Promise Hits $1 Million Mark! One week ago, officials from the Muskegon Area Promise announced we have surpassed the one million dollar mark in our efforts to fund a new two-year countywide college scholarship. A recent $100,000 investment from the Community Foundation for Muskegon County propelled the fund to a new commitment total of $1,030,591.

The Promise scholarship, for resident Muskegon Area high school graduates with a 3.5 grade point average or higher, is already benefiting fourteen college students enrolled at Baker College of Muskegon and Muskegon Community College. To be eligible, the 2015 Promise Scholars must have graduated from Muskegon, Muskegon Heights, or Holton High Schools. Graduates from these same high schools are eligible in 2016, and then the scholarship extends countywide for ALL 2017 high school graduates.

The Muskegon Area Promise corporate and philanthropic investment campaign was kick-started back in October, when four local business leaders stepped up to make a $400,000 collective initial investment in the Promise. Hines Corporation, Nichols, ADAC Automotive, and the Alcoa Foundation were the first gold level investors.

Since then additional funds have been received from the Community Foundation for Muskegon County, the Donahue Family, Sheryl and Dan Kuznar, MasterTag of Montague, Newkirk Electric Associates, Steven and Deb Olsen, Parkland Properties of Michigan, Quality Tool & Stamping of Muskegon Heights, Supreme Machined Products of Spring Lake, Tyler Sales, Verplank Trucking Company of Muskegon, and Webb Chemical Service Corporation for a total corporate investment of $995,200. The Community Foundation, Kuznars, Quality Tool & Stamping, and Verplank Trucking Company are all gold level funders with a $100,000 investment. An additional $35,391 was generated through grass roots efforts that include direct donations to our fund within the Foundation and our active GoFundMe page!

“These funds are critical in allowing Muskegon County to capture one-half of the growth in the existing state education tax beginning in 2017,” said Steve Parker, Muskegon Area Promise Authority Board Chair. “By law we had to fund the first two years privately. In future years we will be funded both privately and with the tax capture. If property values continue to climb, we anticipate being fully funded through the tax capture as early as year six and beyond.”

“This is a game-changer for the Muskegon Area,” said Muskegon Area Intermediate School District (MAISD) Superintendent John Severson. “From the first day of preschool, we will work with our children and their families to make going to college a reality.”

“I have personally seen three things happen in communities with a Promise: the population and economic activity grows, students become more serious about high school and their grades improve, and students are more likely to enroll and persist in college,” Severson said.

“The Muskegon Area Promise will not only improve our education base, but also help fill persistently vacant skill-based jobs, and ultimately lead to the opening of new businesses and the expansion of others in the Muskegon area,” said Parker.

Thank you to each and every one of our generous donors! Your efforts are greatly appreciated!

#CollegeChangesEverything

For more information visit: http://www.muskegonareapromise.org.
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Update 7
Posted by Megan Byard
15 months ago
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Recently, the Community Foundation for Muskegon County asked if the MAISD would bring a panel of superintendents to their annual community meeting to discuss educational issues. Last night, John VanLoon, Jon Felske, and Greg Helmer did a terrific job answering questions moderated by the MAISD Superintendent Dr. John Severson about education in their communities. Among the questions was also a focus on the Promise. During the event, Superintendents were asked how the Promise will impact their districts. Their answers were passionate! Most importantly, they became part of the Promise by sharing their excitement for their students and families.

Now the real work begins.

When we think of the Muskegon Area Promise, remember to think about it 5 to 10 years out. This is when we will see the "fruits of our labor."

On behalf of the MAISD and the full Muskegon Area Promise Zone Authority Board, we wish all of you a wonderful Thanksgiving! Giving thanks to the many community leaders who have given to this worthy cause.. You truly will impact kids and their families for many years to come.

Happy Thanksgiving!
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Update 6
Posted by Megan Byard
16 months ago
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This morning, four local business leaders announced their $400,000 collective investment in the Muskegon Area Promise. Hines Corporation, Nichols, ADAC Automotive, and the Alcoa Foundation are the first significant corporate investors in the program designed to deliver free two-year scholarships to Muskegon Area students earning a 3.5 GPA or higher.

“This is a game-changer for the Muskegon Area,” said Muskegon Area Intermediate School District (MAISD) Superintendent John Severson. “From the first day of preschool, we will work with our children and their families to make going to college a reality.”

“This is exactly the kind of investment we have dreamed of to get the Promise off the ground,” said Muskegon Area Promise Zone Authority Board Chair and business management consultant Steve Parker. “What these four businesses are doing for the economic development of this area is unprecedented,” added Parker. “We cannot thank them enough.”

“These funds are critical to allowing Muskegon County to capture one-half of the growth in the existing state education tax beginning in 2017,” said Parker. “It propels us forward to a point nearly half way to our goal of $900,000 in private investments.”

The announcement came on the heels of the Michigan Department of Treasury’s approval of a Promise development plan that unfolds with Holton, Muskegon, and Muskegon Heights high schools over the first two years, and extends countywide for 2017 high school graduates. According to the plan, graduates must have earned at least a 3.5 grade point average and lived within district boundaries to qualify for the potential scholarships that would cover tuition, books, and mandatory fees up to $4,050.

Now that funding is in place for the first two years, eligible high school students who graduated in 2015 will be offered the opportunity to put the scholarship to work at either Baker College of Muskegon or Muskegon Community College.

MAISD College Access Specialist Megan Byard, explained that seven of the ten Michigan Promise Zone communities are already providing scholarships that allow students to attend college tuition free. “The success of our friends to the north of us, in Baldwin, is proof that this dream can become a reality in our own community,” said Byard.

“I have personally seen three things happen in communities with a Promise: the population and economic activity grows, students become more serious about high school and their grades improve, and students are more likely to enroll and persist in college,” Severson said.

“The Muskegon Area Promise will not only improve our education base, but also help fill persistently vacant skill-based jobs, and ultimately lead to the opening of new businesses and the expansion of others in the Muskegon area,” said Parker.

“We can’t stop with these four champions. Every individual, family, corporation, foundation, and organization can be part of the promise,” said Parker. “Whether it’s $10 or $10,000, every dollar counts,” Parker added.

Thank you friends of the Promise! Your continued and generous donations are incredibly appreciated and valued! Please continue to look for great news from our community as the Promise becomes a reality!
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Update 5
Posted by Megan Byard
16 months ago
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Muskegon Area Promise officials learned Tuesday, September 29, 2015 the Department of Treasury approved their development plan to offer two-year college scholarships to high school graduates! The plan outlines how the program would unfold beginning with 3 districts the first two years, and expanding countywide by year three.

According to Muskegon Area Promise Zone Chair and business management consultant Steve Parker, Treasury’s approval of the development plan is the first big step to getting the Promise off the ground.

“The next step is seeding the Promise with nearly $108,000 in private investments. These investments over the next two years will allow Muskegon County to capture one-half of the growth in the state’s existing education tax beginning in 2017,” said Parker. “Of course our success is contingent on our community’s investment in our kids,” said Parker.

According to projections, approximately $900,000 must be raised to completely fund and sustain the Promise on a countywide scope beginning in Fall 2017. With sufficient funding, eligible students at all public, private, and charter schools will qualify for the scholarship in Fall 2017.

“Every individual, family, corporation, foundation, and organization can be part of the promise,” said Parker. Whether it’s $10 or $10,000, every dollar counts,” he added.

Business and community leaders are invited to hear more about the Muskegon Area Promise at the Muskegon Lakeshore Chamber of Commerce’s Business for Breakfast Program on Friday, October 23, 2015. Education and business leaders will talk about the economic impact of this influential program and invite questions and answers from the audience. The event is being held at the Muskegon Holiday Inn and Conference Center located at 939 Third Street in Downtown Muskegon. Check-in begins at 7:00 am and the program will follow from 7:30 am to 9:00 am. Those wishing to attend this event must register online at www.muskegon.org or by calling the Muskegon Lakeshore Chamber of Commerce at 231-722-3751.

For those of you who have already donated, Thank you! Your generous gifts are incredibly important to the hard work ahead!
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$5,765 of $100k goal

Raised by 105 people in 22 months
Created April 9, 2015
Funds raised will benefit:
Muskegon County Community Foundation
  Certified Charity
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Muskegon, MI
EIN: 386114135
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