Applications open for annual Honor Credit Union scholarship

SOUTHWEST MICHIGAN — One regional business is looking to reward graduating seniors for making their communities better places.

Applications are currently open for Honor Credit Union’s annual Community Commitment Scholarship. The credit union will award 23 $1,000 scholarships to graduating seniors across its coverage area, including Dowagiac, Cassopolis, Niles, Edwardsburg and Buchanan. The deadline for applications is March 15.

According to Janie Reifenberg, Honor’s community assistant vice president, the scholarship’s mission sets it apart. Looking to reward students for community service, the selection committee for the scholarship looks at community involvement as its primary concern when choosing winners. An essay portion and GPA are considered as secondary factors.

“It’s right there in the name,” Reifenberg said. “The criteria is community commitment. At Honor, we are all about community values, and we always put a tremendous amount of effort into our communities. That is what we believe in, so we wanted to make sure that we are in complete alignment with our scholarship by recognizing seniors for doing that same thing — volunteering in the community.”

To be considered for the scholarship, a student must:

  • Be a graduating high school or home school senior
  • Be a member of Honor Credit Union and be the primary account holder at the time of

application and scholarship presentation (all students qualify for membership)

  • Have been accepted at an accredited U.S. post-secondary educational institution or an accredited U.S. trade or vocational school.
  • Demonstrate academic achievement and community involvement
  • Have a minimum GPA of 3.0 on a 4.0 scale
  • Complete an application
  • Submit a 300- to 400-word essay answering “How have you helped make your community a better place?”
  • Submit their most recent report card or transcript showing cumulative GPA

Honor has been offering the Community Commitment Scholarship for more than a decade. In the years Reifenberg has worked with on the project, she said the selection process has always been difficult due to the quality of students in Honor’s coverage area.

“Each year, I am in complete and total awe of how smart and giving our seniors are, and I’m so thankful that we have so many who are committed to the community,” Reifenberg said. “We are always flooded with great applications, making my job, and the job of our selection team, really tough. The community involvement is so visible.”

Knowing there are many qualified seniors in the southwest Michigan area, Reifenberg said she would encourage local students to apply for the scholarship.

“It’s easy. It’s quick, and it’s fun to share what you are doing in the community,” she said. “Please, don’t hold back. Just do it.”

For more information or to apply, visit honorcu.com/scholarship.

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