In 1975, Meijer established a scholarship at Grand Rapids Community Foundation. The fund would help the hundreds of children of Meijer employees attend college. The awards of $500 were appropriate for the time. In 2010, the scholarship awards were expanded to include Meijer employees and the award amount was raised to $1,000. And in 2012, the program is expanding its reach—the Community Foundation received a significant gift to the Fred and Lena Meijer Scholarship Fund. With this addition to the endowed scholarship fund, award amount increases to $2,500 per student. In addition, two $10,000 scholarships—each in Fred and Lena Meijer’s name—will be awarded to successful applicants.
“It is an honor and a privilege for Grand Rapids Community Foundation to administer the Fred and Lena Meijer Scholarship. We’ve had a long relationship with Meijer and this gift to the scholarship fund reinforces the company’s dedication to education and to the people that work for the company,” said Diana Sieger, president of Grand Rapids Community Foundation.
“We are very pleased to enhance this important scholarship program by increasing the amount of the awards,” said Hank Meijer, co-chairman of Meijer. “It’s meant a lot to our family to be able to provide these scholarships to our valuable team members and their families through the years.”
The scholarship is endowed and therefore funds will be available every year for perpetuity. The Community Foundation is responsible for assuring that applicants meet all the criteria for an award—which includes financial need, academics, community involvement and an essay focused on aspirations and educational goals. A committee of community volunteers screens the applications, recommends the awards to the Community Foundation’s Board of Trustees which then gives final approval to the selections.
The number of scholarships awarded is based on a percentage of all applicants, a guideline set by the federal government.
Students may attend any accredited college, university, vocational, technical or specialized institution in the U.S.
For more information about, or to apply for the Fred and Lena Meijer Scholarship visit http://grcf.egrant.org The deadline to apply is April 1, 2012.