Since the 1970’s, LAUP has given scholarships to local high school seniors planning on attending college. LAUP also chooses recipients of the Dream Scholarship, that comes from an endowment at the Community Foundation of the Holland/Zeeland Area that was created from community donations matched by the Brooks Family. In recent years, Kathy Beal has also awarded a special scholarship for LAUP students in memory of her late husband, Philip Beal.
Marisol Martinez, the recipient of one of the LAUP scholarships, participated in LAUP’s Adelante program for four years. She also is the youngest student to ever complete the Ferris State University Promesa Summer Success Program, a program that gives high school students the opportunity complete 9 college credits.
Marisol will graduate from Black River Public Schools and faced her share of struggles in life and in school. Her mother’s fight with cancer and her father’s efforts to legalize his immigration status, took a toll on her family and impacted her studies. She pushed through and sought help from organizations like CASA, LAUP, and Promesa to succeed in her studies and be accepted this fall at Ferris State University.
Marisol, shares her motivation:
I want to pursue a further education because my parents never had the chance to, I see how hard it was for them to work in the fields and in the factories, and I don’t want that type of life. I want to prove to younger people that going to College is possible for anyone as long as you are willing to work hard for it.
While still in high school, she earned her cosmetology credential and plans to cut hair for the homeless. She plans to earn a Bachelor’s Degree in social work and then go on to earn her Master’s Degree: “I want to give back to the community the best way I can.”
Other recipients of LAUP Scholarships, include:
LAUP Beal Memorial Scholarship – Amy Muñoz
Amy is the daughter of Maria Alfaro and Jesus Muñoz. She is currently a senior at West Ottawa High School and will attend the University of Michigan in the fall to study Economics. After graduation, she will enroll in law school to become a corporate lawyer.
LAUP Dream Scholarship – Kyle Lacy
Kyle is currently a senior at Zeeland East High School and will graduate in late May of this year. Recently Kyle discovered a love of working with young children. He plans to attend the Frederick Meijer Honors College at Grand Valley State University and will be pursuing a major in Primary Education.
LAUP Dream Scholarship – Christina Martinez
Christina comes from a family of five brothers and sisters. Coming from a large and caring family is part of the reason why she loves helping people. She will graduate from West Ottawa High School and next year will be going to Grand Valley to either study Psychology or Exercise Science.
LAUP Scholarship – Elizabeth Vera
Elizabeth is curretly a senior at West Ottawa High School. She participated in Trio Upward Bound in high school. Elizabeth currently volunteers at holland Hospital and plans to attend Hope College. She is a first generation college student and would like to become a nurse practitioner and pursue her passion to help those in the Holland community.
LAUP Scholarship – Arlene Melendez-Morales
Arlene attends West Ottawa High School. In the fall, she will be attending Hope College and will double major in Comprehension and Biblical Studies and minoring in Early Childhood Education.