Foundation / Giving Back / Small Business / Scholarships

2018 Social Entrepreneurial Scholarship Winners

Words by Abbie Dyer on Aug 21, 2018 11:17:55 AM

Doing good business and doing good in the community should go hand-in-hand. Inspired by businesses like York Project and Humble Design, we wanted to help a business that, like us, puts the community at the heart and soul of everything they do. In an effort to help Michigan communities thrive and to give small businesses a boost, we offered the Social Entrepreneurial Scholarship for the first time.

In the past, we’ve offered scholarships for high school seniors to put toward their education costs. However, we recognize that adults sometimes need financial help to continue their education, advance in their careers, or to kick off a business idea. The Social Entrepreneurial Scholarship was created to help individuals who had an idea or who were already running a business that is making a positive impact on the community.

After presenting their ideas and sharing their stories, we chose the following three individuals to receive a $2,000 Social Entrepreneurial Scholarship to use for continuing education or business-related activities.




Barbara: Momentum Center

“I believe social entrepreneurship is about finding creative business models in which to perform community service,” says Barbara, founder of The Momentum Center and Extended Grace.

Barbara’s model of social entrepreneurship guides her work at The Momentum Center, where people with disabilities, addictions, and mental illnesses can find a safe space for positive human connection and interaction. This organization offers social and recreational programs so individuals can get the socialization and support they need to lead healthy, successful lives. The Center is also home to Just Goods Gifts and Café where fair-trade food and products are available for sale. The café also invites the public to interact with the folks who are part of the programs at the Momentum Center.

Barbara hopes her scholarship funds can help Extended Grace expand their programs to other communities and provide more resources for teenagers. To help her do that, our members and the community also selected Barbara for a People’s Choice Award through an online vote. She is receiving an additional $1,000 from the Lake Trust Foundation.

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    Breaking Stereotypes. Barbara will use her scholarship to expand programs at The Momentum Center.

  • Joan.png
    Inspiring a New Generation. Joan and the EAA Chapter 907 are helping kids get excited about aviation careers.
  • Margery.png
    Preserving Memories. Margery helps elderly people in her community share their stories. 

Joan: EAA Chapter 907


After seeing a sharp decline in the number of young people going into the aviation industry, Joan decided to share her passion for flying by volunteering with the Experimental Aircraft Association (EAA) Chapter 907. Without programs in schools, like shop and home economics, many kids do not get the opportunity to explore hands-on careers anymore. Programs through the EAA help kids see what a career as an airplane mechanic, pilot, or instructor entails. 


“We’re going to have a shortfall in all things related to aviation in a few years: Instructors, builders, wiring experts, welders, plumbers. There are all sorts of skills that need to go into building an airplane and we want to keep those skills alive in our next generation,” says Joan.


The funds from the Social Entrepreneurial Scholarship will help Joan and her chapter of the EAA with equipment costs, maintenance of the airplane hangar, class expenses, and even the costs of building a plane. 




Margery: Memories, Inc. 


Margery is no stranger to giving back and helping others. She’s helped care for senior citizens for the past 30 years and understands how important it is to preserve personal memories. This realization occurred after working with a client who suffered from Alzheimer’s disease. The woman had a hard time remembering recent events, but she had no problem recalling childhood memories. Margery recorded the woman’s memories and created a book for the family. She enjoyed the project so much that she wants to turn it into a full-time business. 


“Memory books are great because they give the person closure on their life and it also gives them a really nice document that they can give their family members,” she explains.


Margery's scholarship will help her start a website, cover printing costs, and help with other business expenses. Eventually, she’d like to teach other senior citizens how to make memory books. 




Small Steps Toward a Big Difference


It’s easy to succumb to despair when we see a problem in the world. Too often, we convince ourselves that the problem is too large or too complicated for one person to make a difference. Yet, these three individuals prove that taking action, no matter how big or small it may be, can truly help another person in need. 


We’re glad we had the opportunity to play a small role in the success of our three scholarship recipients. We’re excited to see their progress in the coming years as they pursue their passions and change the world for the better.



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SEE ALSO: 2018 New Beginnings Scholarship Winners  |  2018 Lake Trust Credit Union Community Impact Scholarship in Honor of Doug Hawes



Photo Credit: Diana Liang

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