For DonorsFor Applicants

Clarice Kanouse Memorial Scholarship

2 winners, $1,000 each
Application Deadline
Sep 28, 2024
Winners Announced
Oct 28, 2024
Education Level
High School, Undergraduate
Recent scholarship winners
Eligibility Requirements
Education Level:
High school or undergraduate student
Field of Study:
Financial Status:

For first-generation students, a degree can build a foundation that can take the whole family to financial security. 

Unfortunately, it’s often difficult for first-generation students to access higher education, especially for those who come from low-income or single-parent households. With little-to-no financial support and a lack of help navigating the college application process, low-income students face significant barriers when pursuing college degrees. This scholarship honors Clarice Kanouse, a low-income single parent who used her degree to provide financial security to her family while demonstrating perseverance, resiliency, and determination.

In her spirit, this scholarship aims to support low-income students from challenging backgrounds who are pursuing their dreams of higher education.

Any low-income high school or undergraduate student pursuing nursing in Michigan may apply for this scholarship, but first-generation students, those from single-parent households, and non-traditional students are preferred. 

To apply, tell us about your background, what challenges you’ve overcome to pursue nursing, what your goals are, and how this scholarship would help you achieve them.

Selection Criteria:
Ambition, Resiliency, Need
Published May 21, 2024
Essay Topic

Please share about your background and what adversity you have had to overcome to pursue a nursing degree. What are your future goals and how will this scholarship help you?

400–600 words

Winning Application

Jieun Yang
University of Michigan-Ann ArborAnn Arbor, MI
I grew up on a small isolated island in the Pacific. When I was six years old, my family moved to an island that anyone hardly knew at that time. Traveling to a mysterious yet beautiful place, just like any movie would do, I was a kid full of excitement and dreams. Immediately welcomed by the blue ocean waves and the sun blazing over my head—glistening under the horizon, everything about the island seemed perfect and mesmerizing in my little child's eyes. The excitement did not last long as my family struggled financially. Back then, even if my sister and I wanted a cheeseburger that was only a dollar, my parents could not afford it. Moving on to middle and high school, the reality of living on an island became more evident as my father got diagnosed with a cyst in his jaw that had to be surgically removed in Korea since the only hospital on the island could not perform complex surgeries. The check-up fee at the hospital, round-trip plane ticket fee, including surgical bills in Korea, were a significant burden to our family; however, since there was no option to get surgery on the island, we had to get financial assistance from our church organization. With the lack of professionals in all study areas, especially in health care, I gradually developed a goal of acquiring further education abroad and pursuing my study in the medical field. As a junior high student, I believed all the plans I made in my life would go on wheels, but soon enough, reality crashed upon me. I did have a big dream, but the environment to support my goal was not large enough. I knew attending a college would financially burden my parents, especially since I did not qualify for any scholarship as an immigrant back then. Despite the drawbacks, I managed to apply to several colleges, but I had to turn them down regardless of acceptance. My older sister and I had to stay back after high school because my family could not afford our college expenses. This year, we both reapplied to colleges again in better terms for Fall 2023. However, being aware that it is a double burden for my parents, who also wish us to explore the world outside this small island in the Pacific, financial distress has been inevitable for my family. When I got accepted with scholarships to the University of Michigan School of Nursing, I was thrilled; however, the excessive tuition fee was a factor I could not avoid. I aspire to join the healthcare industry as I have always felt the need for a strengthened healthcare system on the island. With only one hospital and several clinics in operation, professional medical staff and equipment severely lack. Due to this factor, many residents, including my family, tend to be hesitant to visit the hospital despite any illness considering the amount of bill for a proper and efficient treatment they could receive. Since the healthcare industry in Saipan lacks professional doctors or nurses who can perform complex surgery or treatments, many patients get referred to hospitals in the mainland, Hawaii, or Guam. Although many people on the island live in scarcity, I believe there should at least be a reliable healthcare system where people can get appropriate medical treatments on time. My future goal is to earn a Nursing degree and return to contribute to the island community by providing reliable and enhanced medical treatments; therefore, this scholarship opportunity means a lot to me as it would support my passion for becoming a nurse.
markayla Clements
Mott Community CollegeFlint, MI
I decided to pursue becoming a Registered Nurse because I will get to combine my two passions of medicine and holistic care of the patient. Nursing will allow me to serve my community and educate people in my community to ensure they are living a healthy and sustainable lifestyle. Furthermore, I chose to pursue nursing because I value the vulnerability and caring relationship that I will be able to develop with my future patients. This is particularly important because I had a life-saving experience with a nurse that encouraged me to open up about the physical abuse that I was experiencing during my middle school stint. I come from a very low income commnuity that was hevaily influnced by substance abuse . I am 1 0f 7 children that lived at home with my single mother that had a subtance abuse problem. Often I was faced with food scarcity and physical abuse. There was an incident at home that reslted me having burn marks and I had to be rushed to the hospital. My anxiety was at an all time high with the weight of seperating my family on my shouldre. Howevr, this nurse was able to provide me with resources and a shoulder to cry on. I then realized nursing is more than running Ivs or shelling out medication. It is an important role that connects medicine and emotions. This nurse created a safe space to not only express myself but also provided overall wholesome care. She opened my world to what nurses did and how their role is important to patients. My respect grew for the position and has lit a fire in me to be the best nurse. I want to be someone where patients can find education, care, and comfort. I am excited to explore the knowledge and interpersonal skills needed to be successful. My biggest passion in education and life is to become a registered nurse. I believe this path will be the most effective way to have a positive impact on my community. I am determined to be the best nurse I can be, to be a person of assurance for my patient, to be confident in my skills and abilities to help the patient, and most importantly, to be the patient’s advocate for low-income marginalized communities. I want to be that resource that prioritizes and provides health and well-being during a time when they cannot do it for themselves. As I begin to plan the journey of becoming a registered nurse, I have reflected on how I will impact my community. My passion is bridging the gap within low-income marginalized communities. As an African American woman that has grown up with limited access to healthcare, I know the detrimental consequences that can affect the body and mind when care is prolonged or neglected. Historically, there have been many barriers that have prevented adequate care in low-income communities due to poverty, time, transportation, and even lack of education. These attributes and the overwhelming aura of generational anxiety about seeking clinical help have negatively impacted these communities. I believe that becoming a Registered Nurse will be a great career choice for me. I will combine two passions of medicine and holistic care of the patient. Becoming a registered nurse will provide me with a stable financial path.I believe that this scholprship will help alevate the strain of fincial stress and will give me the best shot to succeed in my dream caree.I hope to go above and beyond the traditional scope of a complete registered nurse and have a long and successful career.


When is the scholarship application deadline?

The application deadline is Sep 28, 2024. Winners will be announced on Oct 28, 2024.