For DonorsFor Applicants
user profile avatar

Haylee Thompson


Bold Points




I am a hardworking woman that is striving to become an auto mechanic. I also volunteer my time on my local fire department. I enjoy bowling and spending time with my family.


Kalamazoo Valley Community College

Associate's degree program
2021 - 2023
  • Majors:
    • Mechanic and Repair Technologies/Technicians, Other
  • Not planning to go to medical school
  • Career

    • Dream career field:


    • Dream career goals:

      Own my own shop

    • Firefighter

      Allegan Fire District
      2020 – Present4 years



    2017 – 20214 years


    • Most Valueable Player

    Future Interests


    Chief Lawrence J. Nemec Jr. Memorial Scholarship
    Saturday, July 18th, 2020 was the day I was handed a pager. In a room with five other new hires eager to start this journey. Sense that day I have been asked why I wanted to be a firefighter numerous times and the answer is quite simple. I want to help people. Although there is more to the story than just wanting to help people. About three years prior to joining my local fire department I was in a situation where there was a girl choking and all I can remember is not knowing how to help her. I was disappointed in myself that I didn’t know what to do in this situation. So I set out to learn and I learned a lot more than just how to help someone out of a sticky situation. More recently I have discovered another important reason that encourages me to be a firefighter and that is to empower women. A few weeks ago after a structure fire, I was getting back inside our engine. A man suddenly yelled “Why is that woman on the fire department?” I chose to ignore him and allow my Deputy Chief to take care of the rude man with so much to say. I was told that day, by one of my fellow firefighters, that we need those kinds of people. At first I was astonished and in disbelief but after I sat pondering on the idea, I realized that we do. People that doubt you, make you stronger. They give you drive and the urgency to become better. With this newfound drive I want to encourage women that they can do anything they set their mind to. Another reason I wanted to become a firefighter was to get more involved in my community. So far I have been able to travel to local schools and teach kids about fire safety and what to do in an event of an emergency. Other things I have done to be more involved with the community is participate in my fire department's annual pancake breakfast, which is a great opportunity for the firefighters to get to meet the people of the community. The final reason why I wanted to be a firefighter and another reason I continue to want to be a firefighter is the opportunity for experiences. This has a couple different meanings behind it. The first one being that this job puts you in tough and uncomfortable situations. One of my mentors once said “Get comfortable with being uncomfortable” she was absolutely right. I find it important to be uncomfortable, there is nothing like adrenaline pumping through your veins on your way to an emergency and not knowing what to expect from it. The second reason and one of my favorites, is you get to experience different situations alongside your other fellow firefighters. Except you don’t just work along with each other, you work with them and have each other’s backs. The fire department has not just given me a purpose but another family. It is truly a brotherhood and sisterhood. These are the reasons I have fallen in love with this job and why I want to keep putting every ounce of effort I can into this job.
    Bold Driven Scholarship
    Goals are important, but you already know that. When I think of goals I think about success. Success in love, in school, in work, or just in life. Things I strive to be successful in start small and continuously grow larger. My first goal is rather small, which is receiving good grades in my college classes. My whole life I have worked really hard in getting good grades, although then I didn’t have a reason that I wanted to receive them. Now I work hard to earn good grades so that I feel accomplished and get to my next goal. My second goal involves starting to use my skills that I learned from school in a work environment. This work environment will be in an auto mechanics shop. I have found a love for working on cars even though it can be extremely challenging sometimes. My overall goal is to take everything I have learned from school and from work experience to open my own local auto mechanics shop. Where I can provide a trustworthy shop for people to bring their vehicles in to be worked on and not have to worry about something not being done right. I want to provide a service to the people of my community. Now I have many more goals that I could ramble on about, such as becoming a certified firefighter or wanting to improve my average in bowling. Although I chose the building blocks for my career path because that is what will ultimately bring me to be successful.
    Bold Passion Scholarship
    The tone drops and I sprint out the door. Rushing to the station to throw on heavy turn out gear and get on a big red truck to rush through my town to an emergency. To feel the heat of a growing fire or see a car on its roof, but more importantly to help someone that’s in trouble. Which is why my passion is firefighting. I joined my local fire department as a cadet when I was seventeen years old. For multiple reasons, starting with the main reason of wanting to help people. Helping people has always been something that interested me and I want to help as many people as I can. Another reason I wanted to become a firefighter was because I wanted to show other women that they can do anything they want. Many women are unsure about pursuing a job that is mostly male dominated. Thinking they will feel unwanted or unable to help efficiently. Although they are more than capable of doing so. Another reason I became a firefighter was to become more involved in my community, making sure it is safe and taken care of. Firefighting quickly became my passion because it's not just helping people and keeping the community safe. It’s the firefighter brotherhood and sisterhood that makes the pain of the job more bearable. There is always a family to lean on and talk to at the station, especially in the department I get to serve. I look forward to seeing everyone at training and at calls because it's always sure to give you a good laugh. Firefighting not only gave me a family and a passion, but it also gave me a purpose.
    Bold Acts of Service Scholarship
    When I was seventeen years old I made a life changing decision to become something bigger than myself. I set out to be a firefighter. Now I am 19 and couldn’t be more happier or prouder of my decision. Almost everyday I rush to the station to throw on heavy turn out gear, get into a big red truck and race through the streets of my small town to assist someone that is in need of help. Whether that be they are stuck inside of a burning build, trapped in a vehicle, or even something as small as they fell and could not get back up. No problem is too small to ask for help, we will respond no matter what. I set out to join and be apart of the fire department with a big focus on wanting to help people. The fire department doesn’t just help in emergencies, we also set out to educate the youth on how to prevent fire and what to do in case of emergencies. Becoming a firefighter was one of the best decisions I have made in my life so far. Although there is cost, being able to help someone makes up for it.
    Bold Make Your Mark Scholarship
    “What’s that woman doing on the fire department” an old man yelled as I was getting back in the truck after a call. Those words stick with me everyday, not to upset me but to encourage me to be the best I can be. I joined my local fire department to help people but also to show other women that we can do anything we set out to be or do. With determination and grit you can go a long way. The impact I want to leave on the world is that women are a strong force to be reckoned with. That women can exceed at anything they put their minds too. Not only am I a female firefighter but I am also going to school to be an auto mechanic. I have met so many other lady firefighters and lady mechanics that have also exceeded at what they’ve set out for. Woman in these fields tend to have more obstacles than the average male. Woman have to work harder to improve muscles and physique. Woman have to struggle with gear/ clothing that may not fit like it’s supposed to. Woman have to struggle with irregular hormones and becoming pregnant. All struggles that most men do not face. Despite the struggles women are also a valuable asset and I hope to influence young girls that they can do anything they set out to do or to be.
    Bold Empathy Scholarship
    What is empathy? Well it is “the ability to understand and share the feelings of another” (Oxford Languages). Although in my view it means so much more than that. It means treating others how you want to be treated and being there when they’re in need of someone to lean on. Empathy is showing up for someone when they’re at their lowest or when they’re at their worst. Empathy is also sharing happy times with one another, for being there when life is moving in a new direction. Which is what I have set out to do. One way I make sure to treat others with empathy is volunteering my time on my local fire department. I get to help people almost everyday by just showing up when they need help. I joined the fire department for the main purpose to help people. Which I feel goes along with this topic very well because showing and being empathetic is a very close form of helping someone.