LAFCU awards $5,000 in scholarships to Mason, Owosso high school seniors
Monday, June 13, 2016
Posted by: Matt Hillier
Recipients select charity food programs for $500 donations
LAFCU has awarded the 2016 “Write to Educate” $2,500 college scholarships to two high school seniors bound for Lansing Community College (LCC) and Baker College of Owosso this fall.
Mason High School senior Jenelle McCoy, daughter of Kevin and Lynn McCoy, of Mason, will pursue an Associate in Arts at LCC with the intention to transfer to a four-year college to complete a bachelor’s degree, majoring in sports management.
Owosso High School senior Kaycee Ogle, daughter of Jeffery and Kimberly Ogle, of Owosso, will pursue a bachelor’s degree in pre-occupational therapy at Baker College to become an occupational therapist.
As a part of their scholarship awards, McCoy and Ogle each selected a charity to receive a $500 donation from LAFCU. McCoy chose the Greater Lansing Food Bank; Ogle supported the food and nutrition programs at the Salvation Army Owosso.
The scholarship recipients were selected based on a one-page essay about an improvement the applicant could implement at their high school before they graduate that would also benefit the community.
“Reading applications for this scholarship is extremely inspiring,” said Kelli Ellsworth Etchison, LAFCU senior vice president of marketing. “Jenelle and Kaycee identified ways they could positively impact their communities, which is in line with LAFCU’s longstanding ‘people helping people’ mission. They proved that the power of one can be mighty.”
While in high school, McCoy had observed the effects of cancer on six of her classmates and helped support them emotionally. This experience inspired her to suggest a memorial for the three students who lost their battles with this deadly disease, but who never gave up.
“The most positive effect I can have on my alma mater is to shine the light on my peers who left this world too soon,” McCoy said. “Remembering them for their bravery and optimism is the legacy that should live on.”
Ogle’s idea turned into a community-supported event. As a yearbook team member, she learned that some students couldn’t afford senior photos. With school support and a professional photographer willing to provide a “free photo shoot,” word got out in the community. Hair stylists, barbers and makeup artists volunteered to help, a DJ provided tunes, and a baker donated snacks.
“This is a time in our lives that is important because we’re closing one chapter and embarking on a new one,” she said. “All my classmates deserved to document this time and to feel good about themselves.”
The school is planning to make the photo shoot an annual event, and Ogle will be there to assist.
“The photo shoot helped my school and classmates, and it was good for the families in our community who don’t want to let their kids down,” she said. “I am still in awe that one small idea blew up into something so beautiful.”
Applicants for the LAFCU Write to Educate scholarship must be a senior in a high school within the LAFCU service territory, which includes the counties of Barry, Calhoun, Clinton, Eaton, Gratiot, Ingham, Ionia, Jackson, Livingston, Montcalm and Shiawassee. They must also be planning to attend LCC or Baker College’s Owosso campus.