For DonorsFor Applicants

Dr. William and Jo Sherwood Family Scholarship

Funded by
1 winner$1,000
Application Deadline
Feb 15, 2024
Winners Announced
Mar 15, 2024
Education Level
High School, Undergraduate
Recent scholarship winners
Eligibility Requirements
Education Level:
High school senior or undergraduate student

With college costs continuing to rise, figuring out a financial plan can be a great source of stress for prospective students. 

With tuition alone averaging $27,091 for out-of-state students and $9,377 for in-state students, college has become out of reach for many low and middle-income students, shutting down many opportunities for the future.

This scholarship aims to advance the social, political, and economic well-being of students pursuing higher education. 

Any high school senior or undergraduate student pursuing a two or four-year undergraduate degree in Michigan may apply for this scholarship. 

To apply, tell us how this scholarship will affect you and benefit your future.

Selection Criteria:
Ambition, Need, Boldest Profile
Published September 15, 2023
Essay Topic

Tell us how the scholarship will affect you and benefit your future.

400–500 words

Winning Application

Eli Rachlin
Michigan State UniversityEast Lansing, MI
If there is one thing that I have learned in my life, it is that hard work pays off. Now in my second year of college as a jazz musician, despite all of my financial struggles as a low-income student, I have a 4.0 GPA, am an exclusive member of the Dean’s List, and work as treasurer for Michigan State University’s chapter of NSCS (National Society for Collegiate Scholars). My standard for excellence, work ethic, and personal sense of drive have always been high and that is reflected in my level of achievements. However, the balancing act I endure between my commitment to volunteer work, sports, musical involvements, educational ambitions and keeping a steady job is almost impossible. As a low-income student, money makes or breaks my ability to continue attending school, and scraping up enough money to even begin college has been the hardest part of my experience so far. I want to continue attending college out of state because it would continue granting me the opportunity, unlike any college experience I could have in-state, to develop a diverse background in both music and life. As a jazz musician, my commitment to diversity is an integral part of my experiences and I understand that through the lens of my perspectives as a low-income student. Moreover, this scholarship will grant me the ability to further pursue diverse educational opportunities without being repressed by the worry of affording my education. I want to continue my pursuit of high achievement, but as long as I have to put my goals and ambitions on hold to work, I will lose too much time that could be spent honing my skills and working hard in my studies. Building off of this idea, the better that I prepare myself for the future, the more job opportunities and connections I will be able to make. In music, especially jazz, making connections with others is crucial because that opens the doors for potentially new lines of work. To stand out and have people want to make connections with me in the first place, I must spend my time making significant developments in my playing instead of maintaining a job. In conclusion, this scholarship will positively affect the trajectory of my career by lightening the amount I must work to pursue a diverse range of great academic and musical achievements while in school; furthermore, this will help me combat the setbacks I have faced as a low-income student. In turn, this scholarship will open up more opportunities for me to use my hard work ethic to dig deeper into my field and set me up to make esteemed connections that will pay off in the form of a successful career as a jazz musician.
McKenzi McGill
Michigan State UniversityLansing, MI
Every time I've applied for a scholarship, I've always been told the same thing. Whether it comes from my parents, the person helping me write my application, or tips from the application's website, I've always been told to stand out. And this rings true no matter the prompt, and I've done my best to do so. In high school, I was a part of 3 clubs, co-captain of my varsity tennis team, and maintained a 4.0 GPA. Directly out of high school, I was blessed with an incredible internship opportunity in Detroit, working with Black youth for the duration of July and August in 2022. Even with having done all of this, I've struggled with scholarships. And not just winning them, as I know I can't win every scholarship I apply to, but feeling as though my education is worth enough for a stranger to give me money in order to accomplish my goals. Often, scholarships are limited to those with an extreme economic disadvantage or those raised by single parents. Understandably, this is where many people and organizations who offer scholarships choose to have their money go to these individuals. These are all extremely valid reasons for someone to receive a scholarship. But I often find myself in a gray area. Economically, my life has been very stable, but the one area my parents always fell short of was having enough to fund my college education. Because of this, I chose a university close enough for me to commute to every day, so I could cut the cost of college in half. Even with this, my parents didn't have enough to fully fund my degree. Because of that, I look to scholarships like this so that I can fund my education with the least amount of debt possible. While I have been using some of the money my parents set aside for college, it's simply not enough. Winning a scholarship, big or small, would move me one step closer to graduating with my degree. Winning this scholarship would be an immense weight lifted off of my shoulders and would allow me to spend more time on my studies. When it comes to answering the question of how this scholarship would affect me and my future, I try to stay away from simplistic answers, but often, the simpler the answer, the better. At this point in my education, I know what I could be worth to the sustainability community as a Black woman whose goal is to help predominately Black communities. In my scholarship journey, all I need is someone to believe in me and give me a chance to achieve my goals.
Zofia Wasylewski
Northern Michigan UniversityElmira, MI
Since my beginning, I've been constantly surrounded by involvement. My parents were not only hard-working in their jobs, but they also modeled how active one can be in their own community. From faith-based involvement to local government positions, my parents always dedicated their time and abilities to others. My childhood has been heavily rooted in experiencing what being well-rounded looks like; unsurprisingly, I grew to think it was standard to be rooted so deeply in everything. Much of my high school years were spent playing nearly every sport available and organizing school events for the benefit of my peers while staying true to my academic responsibilities. Outside of school walls, I am actively involved in my youth group, working both in soup kitchens and local nursing homes. My participation in these activities has instilled in me my own sense of involvement. I realized my all-time goal is to lead a fulfilling life of service. I considered this to begin after high school, but if I am to continue pursuing my goal in the future, where am I supposed to plant my adult feet? After rare health complications in my early teenage years, I found myself in the hospital for some time. It was there that I got to watch passionate nurses and doctors be so dedicated to their patients. It was there that I fell in love with the environment and the depth of involvement. It was there that I realized I wanted to become a health professional. Medicine has held my heart for years now, and at long last, I have an idea of what I can do to fulfill my dream of serving others. My gateway path is college, a place where I know I already flourish through my experience of dual enrollment. After my time in college, I plan to continue onto med school, where I will deepen my ability to truly serve others through healthcare. Although I am very committed to pursuing my goal, the privilege of going to college does not come without a cost, particularly attending med school. I have decided to begin my college journey by attending North Central Michigan College in the fall of 2023 to earn my associate's degree, as it makes the most sense for me financially. Paying for college is a task I must conquer by myself, and I hope to afford a post-secondary education without going into debt. This is why I am applying for scholarships to fund my education. I believe earning a scholarship will not only allow me to simply pay for my upcoming fall and winter term classes but will also strengthen my ability to pursue an education that will help me better serve others. I am a passionate student, and I am certain that any scholarship will make a significant contribution to my involvement in continuing my education. I will continue to be dedicated to my studies and, for that reason, believe myself to be a great scholarship candidate. I appreciate your consideration!
Brianna Yoder
Laker High SchoolCaseville Township, MI
Ever since I was a child, I have been greatly interested in the legal field. While many of my peers at the time would have shied away from concepts such as public speaking, leadership, and advocation, these ideals have always been key features throughout my life. As time passed, I began to understand more about what being a lawyer actually means. Understanding and interpreting the law and using this information in order to help others instantly sounded like a career that I belonged in. I actively sought out organizations and opportunities that would help me in my journey toward achieving my career goal of becoming a lawyer. Service organizations such as the National Honor Society and Rotary Interact have taught me the importance of helping those in my community and leadership organizations such as student council and FFA have helped to strengthen my communication skills. Alongside my growing interest in law, came my love for science. I constantly put in the effort to challenge myself by pursuing higher-level science courses and devoting much of my time to working with my high school's Science Olympiad team. In order to combine my two passions, my goal is to one day become a Patent Lawyer. Patent law is a field that involves protecting and defending the rights and property of individuals at the forefront of scientific inventions. Using the skills I learned throughout my time in high school, I hope in the future to leave lasting impressions on the field of Patent Law. This career position puts me on the front line of innovation, helping to lead the way for future generations. My educational plans include attending Lyman Briggs at MSU to double major in Biology and Pre-law. After receiving my Bachelor's degree, I will continue on at MSU to attend law school with the goal of becoming a Patent Lawyer. Attending college these days is very expensive and this scholarship would be a tremendous help in achieving my desired degree. My plans include attending Lyman Briggs at MSU to pursue a degree in Biology. After receiving my Bachelor's degree, I will continue on at MSU to attend law school with the goal of becoming a Patent Lawyer. While I am confident in my ability to achieve my goals, they do come with a hefty price tag. This scholarship, in conjunction with my endless work ethic, is the first step in moving into the next stage of my life so I can continue to positively benefit my community in a constructive manner.


When is the scholarship application deadline?

The application deadline is Feb 15, 2024. Winners will be announced on Mar 15, 2024.

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