College sophomore inspires Stoub Family Scholarship Fund

Published 8:52 am Thursday, February 21, 2019

BERRIEN COUNTY — What college student doesn’t want a new car?

Meet Callahan Stoub — founder of the Stoub Family Scholarship for Working Students at the Berrien Community Foundation.

Callahan’s dad, Eric is a small business entrepreneur who recently sold part of a business and decided to take a portion of the proceeds for better, more reliable cars for his youth. He and his wife, Traci, felt cars that could handle Michigan winters and last through college and beyond were good investments to make on behalf of their children. But Callahan — a history major at Hillsdale College — had something in mind that would last much longer and help students like herself handle the expenses of a college education.

“Dad, my car is fine. I like my car,” Callahan told her dad. “But you know we could start a scholarship at the Berrien Community Foundation with that money to help other students.”  Practically speechless, he told her to put together a proposal and they would talk about it over Christmas break.

“That was a very proud parent moment,” Eric said smiling. “But, it is not surprising for Callahan.”

For her part, Callahan said she wanted to give back.

“Since I started thinking about careers in high school, I always had a list of places I want to give back to someday,” Callahan said. “We always had jobs in high school. I would hear about my friends spending summers volunteering or traveling, which is great, but I really think I learned a lot from working.”

Berrien Community Foundation President Lisa Cripps-Downey said she was impressed by Callahan’s proposal.

“When Callahan contacted me about starting a scholarship, I never dreamed that she had thought forward enough to make a personal sacrifice to help other students,” Cripps-Downey said. “I cannot put into words how impressed I am with this young woman. When she graduates, I hope she returns to our community because she is going to make her world a better place.”

Callahan has received two scholarships through the Berrien Community Foundation: the Cora B. Parkhurst Scholarship when she graduated from Berrien Springs High School in 2017 and the Frederick S. Upton Foundation Opportunity Scholarship in 2018. She said she fully understands the importance of a scholarship and how it can help student’s working to pay for school, said officials with the foundation.

One of the keys to the scholarship for Callahan is rewarding students who have a work history and a professional resume.

“I think it is important to reward students who have had a job and the experience of working for college,” she said. “I encourage all working students to apply because your work ethic is worth celebrating.”

With the recent emphasis on STEM, Callahan also wants to recognize the importance of non-STEM careers. Callahan debated on calling the scholarship the #IamnotSTEM Scholarship after a project she did in high school that promoted advanced opportunities for students outside of science, technology, engineering, and mathematics.

The endowed scholarship will provide $1,000 for a graduating high school senior or community college student starting at a 4-year college. The student must show a three-year work history during school or the summer and demonstrate financial need. The family would like to see the scholarship go to a student that is “caught in the middle,” unable to receive need-based financial aid but also unable to afford the rising cost of college.

The first Stoub Family Scholarship will be awarded this spring for fall 2019 and applications are available at the Berrien Community Foundation website at

The Berrien Community Foundation’s goal is to connect needs with resources in the local community, organizers said. For more than 65 years, BCF has helped individuals develop funds and endowments focused on the specific interests or agencies they feel are worthwhile. Officials encouraged those who have funds to give to make a more positive community impact of the community. The organization manages the assets to optimum growth, helps to meet tax laws, and guides the funding to support the ever-changing needs of Berrien County. For more information, people are can visit or call (26) 983-3304 and ask for Lisa Cripps-Downey, BCF President.