Local business organization awards 3 college scholarships

By Emilee Nielsen • Last Updated 3:10 pm on Friday, May 19, 2017

Kiersten Reeves, 18, left, and Madison Willmore, 18, were each presented with $500 scholarships from the Montcalm Area Human Resource Association prior to the association’s meeting on Wednesday. — Daily News/Emilee Nielsen

GREENVILLE — Three local students are each $500 richer after receiving a scholarship Wednesday afternoon.

The Montcalm Area Human Resource Association (MAHRA) awarded the scholarships during a luncheon Wednesday prior the association’s meeting. This is the first year the MAHRA has awarded the scholarships.

Kelly Draper, director of human resources at Aggressive Tooling and chairwoman for the scholarship committee, said they wanted to give back to the community and this was the way they settled on to do it.

“We want to reach out to the community and enrich the community in whatever way we can and we felt that was a good start,” she said.

The winners were Haylie Alexander of Vestaburg High School, Kiersten Reeves of Ionia High School and Madison Willmore of Belding High School. The three winners are cousins.

Each of the applicants for the scholarships were to write essays telling why they were applying and what they planned to do with the scholarship if it were awarded to them.

Draper said qualified applicants had at least a 2.5 GPA. Applicants were not limited to only those considering a four-year university for their postsecondary plans. Draper said the committee was open to applications from those considering community college and skilled trade training as well.

Eligible applicants were employees of businesses in the MAHRA or family members of employees of businesses in the MAHRA.

Alexander’s goals as she outlined in her essay applying for the scholarship are to move on to Montcalm Community College in the fall to obtain an associates degree. She eventually would like to become a special education teacher.

Reeves’ goals include moving into the medical field after she graduates in a few short weeks. She is going to Wayne State University in the fall to pursue a degree in anesthesiology.

Willmore will be attending Davenport University in the fall to pursue a degree in accounting. She’s participated in numerous extracurricular activities including color guard, drumline and the National Honors Society.

“You’re wonderful kids. Good luck on your great future,” Draper said when she handed out certificates to Willmore and Reeves.

Alexander was unable to attend the event.

Willmore said she was excited to have been awarded the scholarship because she will want to offset the financial costs of college as much as possible.

“The more scholarships the better,” Reeves said, laughing.

Draper said something that impressed her with all three of the applicants is their awareness of how costly it can be to pursue a postsecondary education of any sort.

What stuck out about Alexander, Draper said, is her desire to be an inspiration to those around her.

“She has a direct goal and that she respects the debt of college,” Draper said.

Reeves is very goal-oriented and is very driven to accomplish her goals, Draper said.

“She pushes herself and her grades reflected that,” she said. “She took some difficult classes and still maintained mostly As.”

Willmore, Draper said, is very well-rounded. She said the committee was impressed by Willmore’s willingness to participate in a myriad of extracurricular activities on top of keeping up with her academics.

“She has a lot of leadership potential … and very defined goals,” Draper said.

Draper said she’s looking forward to the future and continuing to award scholarships to deserving students.

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