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ChoiceOne Bank Awards 14 Scholarships to Local High School Seniors

ChoiceOne Bank is pleased to announce 14 scholarships have been awarded in the Annual ChoiceOne Scholarship Essay Contest designed to provide needs-based scholarships for graduating seniors in the communities the Bank serves.

As the local community bank, ChoiceOne encourages and rewards graduating seniors who are motivated to obtain a degree. The ChoiceOne Scholarship awards a one-time scholarship of $1,000 to each recipient for their first year of college. ChoiceOne Bank has 35 locations serving West and Southeast Michigan, 14 winners were selected from 10 community high schools.

In 2022, ChoiceOne Bank is projected to payout a total of $20,000 in scholarships. This includes our 14 winners from this year as well as honoring 6 renewable scholarships from the former Lakestone Bank & Trust. These scholarships will be paid directly to the college by ChoiceOne Bank.

“Families are the heart of our communities, and we are committed to their wellbeing,” said ChoiceOne Bank President Michael J. Burke, Jr. “Seniors are our next generation of leaders. This contest always helps them realize the benefits of being raised and educated in a caring and supportive community. We have been offering this contest for many years now, and it’s always an enlightening experience for all of us to hear from our students.”

The contest was open to local high schools within the Bank’s 35 locations across West and Southeast Michigan. With over 160 submissions, these are the 2022 winners:

  •  Kate Lossing – Yale High School
  •  Ryan O’Neal – Richmond High School
  •  Shelby Wetherford – Imlay City High School
  •  Olivia Livingston – Imlay City High School
  •  Rachel Lauwers – Imlay City High School
  •  Maxwell Datsko – Lapeer High School
  •  Jasper Gugino – West Ottawa High School
  •  Kassidy Borgman – Saugatuck High School
  •  Ashtyn Hinz – Byron Center High School
  •  Aiden Armstrong – Byron Center High School
  •  Pablo Vicario-Reyes – Kelloggsville High School
  •  Thien Anh Hoang – Kelloggsville High School
  •  Sara Sietsema – Sparta High School
  •  Kierstin Parker – Cedar Springs High School

The following quotes capture the essence of these community essays:

  • “I learned how to give back in as many ways as possible. I was able to learn from my elders how to create a feeling of community, and I plan to carry on my passion for creating community to my future college..” Kate Lossing – Yale High School
  • “I did not expect that camp to show me how good it felt to be a role model. It gave me a new perspective on helping others..” Olivia Livingston – Imlay City High School
  • “I truly understood just how complicated and arduous teaching others can be, but I also learned that teaching others provides you a strong sense of pride and accomplishment when they succeed and is one of if not the most efficient ways to further your understanding of a subject.” Ashtyn Hinz – Byron Center High School

The ChoiceOne Bank Scholarship Essay Contest began in January and ended in March. Students had to submit an application that included a 500 word or less essay about one of their community-service experiences – describing why they got involved, who benefited and how they benefited. Eligible candidates included high school seniors, GED recipients in the current calendar year that had not begun college classes, and home school students with documentation of high school equivalency and college eligibility. Students had to be graduating seniors planning to attend an accredited two-year or four-year college in Michigan for the fall of 2022.

“We believe it takes a community to raise a family and we take great interest in helping our youth,” said Burke. “As parents, it is our hope that our students return to their roots to raise their families and grow their businesses. Writing this essay for a potential scholarship helps our youth understand the importance of community service wherever they live.”

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