Having demonstrated a commitment to volunteerism on multiple fronts, three high school seniors from across the Tri-County region of Michigan’s Great Southwest have been awarded scholarships from United Way of Southwest Michigan.
United Way of Southwest Michigan has bestowed this year’s Volunteer United Youth Scholarship Awards to one winner from each of the three counties in the area—Berrien, Cass, and Van Buren—who have demonstrated a commitment to volunteerism through innovation, dedication, and advocacy for community improvement throughout their high school careers.
In 2020, the annual scholarship awards go to:
- Anna Glomski of Paw Paw High School (now attending Concordia University Ann Arbor)
- Jonathan Leach of Ross Beatty High School, Cassopolis (Southwestern Michigan College)
- Zoey Martin of Niles High School (Southwestern Michigan College)
Glomski volunteered with Young Explorers, the Van Buren Youth Fair, Paw Paw Youth Soccer Camp, and Key Club Adopt-A-Family, and served as a chemistry tutor. Glomski says, “Volunteering changes people’s lives and leaves a positive impact on those volunteering. It grows more leaders of the community and improves the quality of life for all.” She held positions in student government, ran cross country and track, and played soccer, serving as varsity team captain. She plans to study nursing.
Leach has several years of volunteer experience with Backpack Ministry, Operation Christmas Child, Adopt-a-Highway, and the Cass County Medical Facility. He has taken mission trips to Peru, Nashville, Charleston, Newark, and Vienna to serve children, seniors, the disabled, and the hungry. He says, “Investing in people is more important than gaining material things,” and adds, “I have been blessed and want to be a blessing to others.” Leach was a track medalist and honor student and has won academic and community service awards.
Since she was 14, Martin has been volunteering weekly with the disabled in assisted living. She says, “When I started volunteering, I thought I was making a difference in their lives, but really, they made me become a better person,” adding, “They taught me about compassion and to simply love people for who they are and not to try to change them.” Zoey ran cross country for three years and did four years of Science Olympiad. She plans to study civil engineering.
Each winner will receive a $1,500 scholarship made out to their college on their behalf. Only current high-school seniors are eligible to apply.
Debbie Ramirez, Volunteer Engagement Director at United Way of Southwest Michigan, says, “When a young person shows a commitment to helping others early in life, that’s an indication of future success, and it benefits all of us in the community to support that person so they can continue to grow and contribute as they move into adulthood.” She adds, “We are pleased to give back to those youth leaders who give so much of themselves.”
United Way of Southwest Michigan fights for the Health, Education, and Financial Stability of every person in every community. They have the influence and relationships to make sustainable change a reality. By harnessing resources from corporate, nonprofit, and public partners, they provide immediate assistance to the most vulnerable populations among us while addressing the root causes of the community’s longstanding challenges and changing lives for the better. To join the fight—through giving, advocacy, and volunteering—visit http://www.uwsm.org.