Grand Rapids Community Foundation's Fred & Lena Meijer Scholarship program is awarding $315,000 in scholarships this year, furthering the college education of 120 Meijer team members and their children.
The competitive scholarship program, which is administered by the Community Foundation, awarded $10,000 scholarships to two recipients and $2,500 scholarships to 118 others throughout the retailer’s five-state footprint of Michigan, Illinois, Indiana, Ohio and Kentucky.
Grand Rapidian Colleen Kretowicz a full-time pharmacy technician was the recipient of a $10,0000 Fred Meijer Scholarship. One two students in the Midwest that was selected for this award, Colleen is a senior at Grand Valley State Universiity who is working on an accounting degree. Her children, Katherine and Joseph, students at Michigan State University received awards of $2,500 each.
“Our father believed that you should never stop learning no matter where you receive that education,” Co-chairman Doug Meijer said. “It means a lot to our family to help further the education of our Meijer team members and their children.”
The 120 scholarship winners attend 63 different colleges and universities, including Hope College, Grand Valley State, Bowling Green State, Purdue and Ohio State universities.
The Fred & Lena Meijer Scholarship is a private fund that was established at Grand Rapids Community Foundation in 1975 for children of Meijer team members. In 2010, the program was expanded to include current Meijer team members. In 2012, the scholarships were enhanced to $2,500, with the family adding two $10,000 scholarships: one each in Fred and Lena Meijer’s names.
The scholarship is administered and awarded by Grand Rapids Community Foundation and is based on financial need, academic performance, and community involvement. A written essay of aspirations and educational goals is also part of the application process. “Grand Rapids Community Foundation is proud to administer the Meijer scholarship fund and help bring the benefits of higher education to its team members and families,” Diana Sieger, president of Grand Rapids Community Foundation said.
The scholarships are available for use at any accredited college, university, vocational, technical or specialized educational institution nationwide. The number of scholarships awarded each year is determined as a percentage of the number of applicants as set by the federal government.