As summer closes and the crisp air begins, we are delighted at the Community Foundation to see many exciting endeavors taking place. Thank you to the many individuals who gave us feedback as we engage in strategic planning. The trustees and staff are hard at work listening to the community and finding innovative ways to enhance our philanthropy. The Community Foundation belongs to Newaygo County, and we are very cognizant of the legacy we hold and how our work can impact the future. Stay tuned as we will share what we’ve learned and what we have planned as the trustees approve new goals by year’s end.

One another note, it is once again time for College and Career Night Out coming up on September 29. Our scholarship application will open just a few days later on October 1. The Community Foundation trustees and staff are so proud of our commitment to educational success. To learn more about our scholarships, please visit facommunityfoundation.org/scholarships or call us today at 231.924.5350.

And now for a moment of gratitude: “Appreciation is a wonderful thing: It makes what is excellent in others belong to us as well.”-Voltaire. My first year as president and CEO is nearly complete, and it has been the most rewarding of my career. My family has fallen in love with Newaygo County. Thank you for making us feel welcomed as community members, and for the joy and privilege of serving as president and CEO.

Fremont Area Community Foundation recently created two new awards to help recent graduates overcome barriers to employment: the Graduation Award and the Ready2Work Award .

The Ready2Work Award is designed to help minimize the impact of barriers by providing a one-time award of $250 to students who recently obtained a certificate, credential, or college degree. To be eligible, students must have received a scholarship from the Fremont Area Community Foundation from 2010 to present, live in West Michigan, and must have earned a degree or higher credential. A copy of the certificate or diploma will be required.

“In 2011 the Community Foundation launched Goal 2025 to help local residents obtain career credentials ranging from trade certificates to college degrees,” said Carla Roberts, FACF President and CEO. “To reach this goal we have partnered with our local school districts, NC RESA, and WE CAN! Newaygo County as well as significantly increased the amount of scholarships for adult students returning to school.”

“What we are discovering is that after people finish their program or graduate, there remain basic barriers to getting employment,” added Lindsay Hager, chair of the FACF Board of Trustees. “The needs vary from having the proper tools or attire for their new trade to purchasing clothing to wear to an interview.”

Former scholarship recipients who have achieved their higher education goals but do not live in West Michigan are eligible to apply only for the $50 Graduation Award. Applications for the Ready2Work Award and Graduation Award can be completed online.

“We look forward to celebrating the accomplishments of our graduates,” said Roberts. “The completion of a skilled trade program, certificate program, or college degree is a tremendous investment in oneself. These awards will also allow the Community Foundation to learn about barriers graduates face as they enter the workforce as well as allow us to collect data on the impact of our scholarship program as our county works together to reach Goal 2025.”

More information about both awards can be found here.