The scholarship recipients exhibit promise and motivation to achieve a college or technical degree.

Financial need also plays a factor in their selection. These students may not always receive the highest grades or College Board Scores – but their commitment and a pursuit of a dream is what make them “Promise Students.” All scholarship recipients are listed below.

2017 Promise Students

  • 2017 Promise Women

    Arely
    Arely graduated from Holland HIgh in 2017 and heads to Grand Valley State University. Arely’s dedication to academics and sense of direction caught the attention of her Hoiland High School college adviser who recommended her for a Holland/Zeeland Promise Scholarship interview.  read more…

  • Freddie
    A 2017 graduate of Holland High School, Freddie is heading to Ann Arbor in the fall to attend the University of Michigan. According to his college adviser at Holland High, “Freddie stands out as one of the most compassionate students – helping new students find their way at HHS, participating in the PALS program, and above all, being able to get other students to be just as compassionate.”  read more…
  • Justin
    Justin graduated in 2017 from West Ottawa High School and will be attending Grand Valley State University. Known for his work ethic and determination and the example he sets for other students, Justin credits Boys and Girls Club for seeing him through the difficult transition he had to make in the middle of his freshman year of high school. read more…
  • 2017 Promise Men

    Marisol
    Marisol graduated in 2017 from Black River High School and will be attending Ferris University in the fall. According to her school counselor, “Marisol is giving, caring and funny. She has faced hardships, but has always kept her determination to succeed.” read more…

  • Marita
    Marita is a 2017 graduate of Holland High School and will make her way to the University of Michigan this fall. Like moving from Cambodia, Marita says, “A college education will be another portal in a series of portals of perpetual self-discovery and growth.”  read more…
  • Micah
    A graduate of Zeeland East High School, Micah will be seeking a degree from Michigan State University.  Known for her resiliency, work ethic and leadership (she was elected Vice President of Region V’s, Future Farmers of America) Micah will be pursuing a degree in animal science/livestock industries. read more…
  • Taylor K
    Taylor graduated from West Ottawa in 2017 and is heading to Lansing and Michigan State University in the fall where she plans to study human biology.  Among teachers at West Ottawa High School, Taylor is known as “not a student who works for a grade, but rather one who works to learn.” read more…
  • Taylor W
    Taylor graduated from West Ottawa in 2017 and will be attending Grand Rapids Community College in the fall. Like almost all the Promise Scholarship recipients, Taylor will be the first in her family to attend college. And a summer job working at a craft store with young children tipped the balance of her career interests to early childhood development and education. read more…

2016 Promise Students

  • 2016, Holland/Zeeland Promise Students

    David
    David is a 2016 graduate of Holland High School and will be attending Michigan State University this fall. David had long dreamed of attending college. He says he was only six years when he began noticing on the television shows he was watching, that minorities weren’t often pictured as successful people. He wanted to show that he and other minorities could succeed. read more…

  • Eric
    A 2016 graduate of West Ottawa High School, Eric will be attending Michigan State University in the fall. Eric’s parents had encouraged him to dream of a life that didn’t equire the hard labor that their lives did.  But it wasn’t until his sophomore year, when he began attending the Trio Upward Bound program that Eric really began to dream of attending college. read more…
  • Ivan
    Ivan is a 2016 West Ottawa High School graduate and will be attending Grand Valley State University in the fall. When did Ivan begin dreaming about a college education and why?  It might surprise you. He was only six when the thought first occurred to him. But it’s the “why” he started dreaming that was a little different. read more…
  • Julian
    A 2016 West Ottawa High School graduate, Julian will be attending Hope College this fall. Julian will tell you that he comes late to dreaming of a college education. He had a hard life growing up and says he knows now that he didn’t surround himself with friends who dreamed of something more than the difficult lives they were experiencing. read more…
  • Kariana
    A graduate of Holland High School in Holland, Michigan, Kariana will be attending the University of Michigan. Kariana says it wasn’t an option in her family to not dream of college. Her parents have prodded all their children to care about education and achieving. read more…
  • Rodrigo
    A 2016 graduate of Zeeland East High School, Rodrigo will attend Hope College in Holland, Michigan. His parents he knew had come to the United States because they wanted a good education for their children, but it wasn’t until 6th grade that Rodrigo says he himself began to realize and believe in the importance of education. read more…
  • Srey Yol
    Yol is a 2016 graduate of Zeeland West High School and will attend Grand Valley State University. Yol – as most people call her – faced a steep language hurdle to arrive at the threshold of entering college. Arriving from Southeast Asia only six years ago, she learned her new language in English as a second language classes, excelling there. read more…
  • Tanya
    A 2016 graduate of Holland High School, Tanya will be attending the University of Michigan. When Tanya was in the 6th grade her parents received a call from the principal recommending that she be part of a program for students whose testing showed academic potential. read more…

2015 Promise Students

  • Promise Partner Students 2015: Diana, Michael, Nhi, Edgar

    Nhi
    A graduate of West Ottawa High School Nhi entered Grand Valley University fall of 2015. When she arrived in Holland in 2011, Nhi spoke scarcely a word of English. Her aunt, a U.S. citizen, had come to visit Nhi’s family in Vietnam and saw how difficult the economic situation was for them. read more…

  • Diana
    A graduate of Holland High School Diana accepted at Western Michigan University, fall 2015. When Diana was a freshman in high school, she took a class called Working on Wellness. Her teacher – Mrs. Miller – told her own personal story about the challenges she had to overcome in order to attend college. read more…
  • Edgar
    A 2015 graduate of Holland High was accepted and entered Western Michigan University fall of 2015. Going to college wasn’t something Edgar thought much about – and his grades reflected that. His lack of interest almost derailed any possibility of college after high school – and then, in his junior year, Edgar said, “I woke up. read more…
  • Michael
    A  graduate of West Ottawa High School Michael was accepted and entered Michigan State University fall of 2015. Accepted into the James Madison College at Michigan State as well as the Social Sciences College Program,  both intended for students who express an interest in public policy and politics. read more…

2014 Promise Students

  • Jennifer & Yessica, 2014 Holland/Zeeland Promise Students

    Jennifer
    A graduate of Holland High School Jennifer was accepted and entered Grand Valley State University fall of 2015. She dreams of working in a non-profit organization that makes a difference in people’s lives.  Inspired by the Trio Upward Bound Director Elizabeth Colburn “who not only manages and directs but took time to talk with all of us, and build relationships with us” she hopes to obtain a degree that would qualify her for a similar position and organization. read more…

  • Yessica 
    A graduate of West Ottawa High School Yessica entered Western Michigan University in the fall of 2015. In the 10th grade, Yessica found her way to Latin Americans United for Progress (LAUP) and their Adelante program whose goal is to teach students leadership skills, public speaking skills and encourage them to be community service leaders.   read more…

2013 Promise Students

  • Diana, Rogelio, and Yadah. 2013 Holland/Zeeland Promise Students.

    Diana – Graduated!
    A graduate of Holland High School, Diana did not come to the United States from Mexico until she was 12. Her biological father had died when she was only a year old.  But some years later, Diana’s mother was introduced to the man she would eventually marry – a resident of Holland, MI. read more…

  • Rogelio – Graduated!
    Also a graduate of Holland High School Rogelio entered the University of Michigan’s  School of Kinesiology. Rogelio’s parents, who came to the U.S. from Mexico 30 years ago, always stressed the importance of education.  Neither of them completed middle school and both were employed in occupations that, as Rogelio put it, “require strenuous physical labor, long hours and offer only low income.” His parents wanted something more for their children – and Rogelio wants to make them proud. read more…
  • Yadah – Graduated!
    A graduate of Holland High School, Yadah was accepted at the University of Michigan. In fact, Yadah began attending U of M in the summer of 2013, participating in the Summer Bridge Program (SBP) – a support program for students who will be the first in their families to seek a college degree. read more…

2012 Promise Students

  • Lily – Graduated!
    A graduate of West Ottawa High School, Lily lived in Cambodia until she was six. Then, a tragic accident claimed the life of both her parents.  Adopted by her uncle and aunt, Lily and her sister came to live in Holland Michigan. Always challenging herself to work hard and succeed, Lily set her sites on a college education. read more...
  • Laura – Graduated!
    A graduate of Holland High School, Laura is fulfilling her parents dream that she become the first in their family to receive a college degree.  Laura will be attending Hope College in the fall, after which she hopes to continue on to graduate school for a Masters in Social work.  “I know it will be a long journey but I am confident I can achieve my goal,” Laura says. read more…

2011 Promise Students

  • CynthiaGraduated!
    A graduate of Fennville High school) Cynthia Bustillos was still eligible for a Holland/Zeeland Promise because of her many years of involvement with Hope College’s Trio Upward Bound Program. Cynthia says she is grateful for the “step by step” way Upward Bound helped her prepare to follow her dream of a college education.  Like most of the Holland/Zeeland Promise recipients, Cynthia will be the first in her family to attend college. read more…
  • CourtneyGraduated!
    Courtney has graduated!  On December 14, 2013 she received her diploma from Ferris State University.  She has graduated with a degree in Health Care Management and Respiratory Care. Next stop – finding that job with her well earned skills.  She has promised to let us know as soon as that happens.  And we’re confident with these skills, it won’t be long! read more…
  • Teohary – Graduated!
    Teo has graduated! Late spring we received a text from Teo wondering if we might be able to attend his graduation. Teo, born in the United States, is a citizen. Born in the U.S. where he lived until the age of three, Teo returned to the U.S, with the encouragement of his family when he was 15 to earn a High School degree. Living with an uncle and then living on his own, supporting himself, his only goal was to graduate with a high school degree.  read more…
  • Ashley – Has found a career!
    Our Promise to Ashley has been fulfilled. A promise that she could attend college without accumulating crushing student debt.  Ashley dreamed of being a Special Education teacher, but while attending school she was hired by Huntington Bank and eventually promoted to their Customer Relations department.  She’s found she is a very good listener and has excellent communications skills. read more…
  • Dave – Graduated!
    When asked when he first dreamed of being an engineer, Viet-Dave says, “I think since I was born.” It was a dream his parents, who arrived in the U.S. from Viet-Nam in the ’70’s, encouraged. A graduate of West Ottawa High School, Dave pursued that dream at Michigan State University. Dave will be, as many of the students are, the first in his family to attend college. read more…

2010 Promise Students

  • Andrew – Graduated! 
    Andrew says he first thought about college when he was around 10.  That was when he became old enough to want “to make my dad proud.” He did well in school and the dream seemed possible. But then – as Andrew puts it – he “stumbled” – ran with the wrong crowd. But Andrew saw what was happening and decided to change.  He focused on his studies again and achieved a 3.1 average. read more…
  • Priscilla – Graduated
    Priscilla has graduated!  She finished her course work at Everest Institute, received her diploma in November and is now an NRCMA.  Translation: She is a Nationally Registered Certified Medical Assistant. This meant she had the skill and certification for the job she was offered at OBGYN Associates of Holland, MichiganBut let’s tell her story one more time.  read more…
  • Alison – Graduated!
    Alison has graduated!  Finishing her final 3 credits by completing an internship with the Holland Police Department, Alison receives her Criminal Justice Degree from Grand Valley State University. Until she was a freshman in high school, Alison thought she would be entering military service after graduation. It was a family tradition on her father’s side. But she saw a video presented by Hope College’s Trio Upward Bound program – and began dreaming of a college degree… read more…

Will You Join Us?

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