​​​​​​​​​​Since this scholarships inception, these deserving, hard-working students have gone above and beyond typical recipients to help further its success.. Most notably, they have given their time and shared their very personal stories at several Women's Connection events around the state.  These personal connections have truly given a face and a name to those students who needed scholarship assistance and benefitted from the generosity and compassion of scholarship donors. 

Kelsey Thomet
Recipient for 15/16 and 16/17

Kelsey will be a Junior at CMU in the fall of 2015, pursuing degrees in both Psychology and Human Resource Management, and she is the first person in her family to attend college.  She is from a household in which her mother has been the sole provider.  Growing up, her family relied heavily on housing and food assistance in order for her mother to both work and raise her two daughters. Kelsey's early academic successes earned her seven scholarships that supported her earlier years at CMU, however she must fund the rest of her education. Upon graduation, she hopes to build a career that affords her the opportunity to ensure that all employees are treated with fairness and equality.

Nicole Hengesbach
Recipient for 15/16​ and 16/17

Nicole will be a Junior at CMU in the fall of 2015, pursuing a major in Social Work with minors in both Youth Studies and Leadership.  Growing up in a family of 10, her biological father was absent and, although she eventually had a step-father, her mother was the primary provider for the entire family.  Nicole is now solely responsible for funding her college, as unfortunately her step-father's choices eventually led him to draining the family savings, prison and divorce.  Having always held a job to support her family, Nicole's mother served as an example to work hard and try their best.  Upon graduation, she hopes to work with Child Protective Services where she can help children survive or recover from abuse and neglect.


Previous Recipients


Jami Peters
Recipient for 14/15 and 15/16

Jami graduated from CMU in 2016.  The following is her short biography at the time she became one of our scholarship recipients:  

Jami transferred to CMU in the fall of 2013 after beginning her college career at Kirtland Community College.  Jami is a single mother to her 3-year-old daughter, born during Jami's senior year of high school.  Jami determined to keep her schooling a priority in order to create a better life for her da​ughter.  She has continued to work part-time while taking classes part-time and raising her daughter.  Jami is pursuing a Bachelor's degree in Early Childhood Development and Learning.  Upon graduation, she hopes to one day own and operate her own child care and preschool center.  Jami particularly aspires to offer summer camps and summertime activities for community children-in-need.​


Susan Taylor
Recipient for 13/14​ and 14/15

Susan graduated from CMU in 2014.  The following is her short biography at the time she became one of our scholarship recipients:  

Susan is a single parent who is about to begin her final year at CMU as an undergraduate student.  She is going into Special Education and will begin her student teaching in the Fall of 2013.  In addition to her schooling and parenting responsibilities, Susan manages to be very involved with campus organizations, local community service projects and extracurricular activities with her son.  Just to name a few, Susan participates with Special Olympics, The National Honor Society of Leadership & Success, Golden Key International Society, the Disability Awareness Committee and the Web Governance Committee.  As a future teacher, Susan intends to help students reach their fullest potential and specifically hopes to one day work with students who have Autism.

Alexandro Deoliveira
Recipient for 11/12, 12/13 and 13/14  

Alexandro graduated from CMU in 2016.  The following is his short biography at the time he became one of our scholarship recipients: 

 Alexandro is from a household with a single mother, after losing his father to cancer in 2005.  He also has a younger sister struggling with a wide range of disabilities, including cerebral palsy, that require full-time care from their mother.  The family has survived off of Death Benefits from Social Security and the cost of college is entirely his responsibility to fund.  Currently, Alexandro is studying Accounting.  Upon graduation, he plans to head back to the Detroit area to search for a job in accounting and hopes to one day return to CMU to pursue an MBA.


Corey Jones
Recipient for 11/12 and 12/13

Corey transferred to CMU in 2011 and graduated in 2012.  The following is his short biography at the time he became one of our scholarship recipients:  

Corey is a single parent who recently completed an Associate of Arts degree at Grand Rapids Community College. After several setbacks, including a job loss and losing his house and belongings to a fire, he recently enrolled at CMU to continue his pursuit for higher education. Corey plans to complete his degree in Secondary Education and specifically has interests in teaching history and physical education.


Catherine B. MacDonald
Recipient for 08/09, 09/10 and 10/11

Catherine graduated from CMU in 2013.  The following is her short biography at the time she became one of our scholarship recipients:  

Catherine is from Farmington Hills, MI. She is studying secondary education and plans to one day become a high school teacher of both English and Public Speaking. Building upon her personal interests, Catherine also hopes to be a coach for cross country and track. Catherine comes from a family of seven children, who lost their main income-earner and family supporter when her father suddenly passed away in 2008. She enjoys being active in her community and considers herself to be a humanitarian with a passion to make a difference in people's lives and a feeling of responsibility to help others along the way.

Watch Catherine's Story​


Chad Bukowski
Recipient for 08/09, 09/10 and 10/11

Chad graduated from CMU in 2010.  The following is his short biography at the time he became one of our scholarship recipients:  

Chad is studying elementary education with a math major and he will begin his student teaching in the Fall of 2010. Chad is from White Lake, MI and is one of 11 siblings. He lost his father at the young age of only 10 years old, but has remained determined to be the first of his family to earn a college education. After most of his family relocated to Texas, he remained here with older siblings to begin his pursuit, first attending Delta College before transferring to CMU. Sometimes having worked 2 or even 3 jobs while taking full class loads, he hopes to be an inspiration to his younger siblings and to all those struggling to fulfill their dream of higher education.

Watch Chad's Story​​​​​​​​