Student Success

Through the support of the LCEF over 2,500 Lenawee County students have received financial aid to support their efforts to pursue higher education.

Elizabeth Phelan
Early Childhood Teacher
Lenawee Intermediate School District

Elizabeth Phelan was the first recipient of the Milton C. Porter Educational scholarship for a graduating Lenawee County high school student who intended to pursue postsecondary education in the field of education. She also received the Alan H. and Nydia Meyers Foundation Scholarship.

At the request of her parents, Elizabeth completed the application, knowing that any additional financial support would help both her and her family as she pursued higher education.

Ms. Phelan applied her scholarship towards classes at Central Michigan University in Mount Pleasant, Michigan where she earned a bachelor’s degree in Early Childhood Education. She went on to receive a master’s degree from Eastern Michigan University.

Today, Ms. Phelan is in her 19th year as an Early Childhood Education Teacher at the Lenawee Intermediate School District (LISD); the same district that Milton C. Porter once led as its Superintendent. She has been recognized by her employer for her excellence in teaching and support of her students multiple times. In addition to her work at the LISD, she is highly active in her children’s school’s PTO, the Tecumseh Schools Orchestra Program, area blood drives, athletics and her church.

Ms. Phelan’s states the following about the financial support she received through the LCEF, “It was a help financially of course, but it also helped me to work harder in class knowing that there were some very kind and generous people who cared about my future. At the time I was proud and appreciative of the scholarship, but as I prepare for my own children’s future, it makes me even more aware and thankful for the generosity and opportunities that the LCEF provides for students pursuing higher education.”

Jill Kolodsick, Ph.D.
Scientist, Researcher and Textbook Writer

As a student at Lenawee County’s Tecumseh High School, Jill Kolodsick had great ambitions for her life. Like many high school students, Jill knew that her ambitions would require her to go on and further her education through postsecondary education. Knowing this, and facing the daunting task of financing higher education, she pursued numerous scholarship opportunities available through the Lenawee County Education Foundation (LCEF).

Like many other Lenawee students, Jill was the selected to receive a scholarship from the LCEF. Jill was awarded the Poppink Memorial Scholarship which was established in honor and memory of former Lenawee Intermediate School District employee W. Cal Poppink. Mr. Poppink died from cancer and his family and friends established a scholarship to honor him.

After graduating from high school and thanks to the support of the Poppink Memorial Scholarship, Jill entered college at Kalamazoo College in Kalamazoo, Michigan. After obtaining her bachelor’s degree, she went on to pursue a Ph.D. in immunology and microbiology from Wayne State University. She did a post-doctoral fellowship at the University of Michigan and also served as an instructor of Biology at Washtenaw Community College. Today, Dr. Kolodsick works as a textbook contributor for McGraw-Hill Higher Education in addition to raising her two young boys. She is active in her community and with her church.

Recently, Dr. Kolodsick sent the following message to Martha Poppink Melcher, Mr. Poppink’s wife.

“I wanted to let you know the impact this scholarship made on my life. It helped me not only financially, but also helped prepare me for interviews later in life. I still remember the question I was asked during the interview (what were my biggest fears for my generation). I think of that scholarship and interview every time I work on a section concerning cancerous cells. I am so thankful for it.”

According to Cal’s wife Martha, “Follow-up stories like this are why we do what we do.”

What better way to remember the life of a loved one than making the lives of so many others better!

Brian Hansen
Director of Accounting
ProMedica Health System

Brian Hansen had a strong desire to partake in the plethora of extracurricular activities available to the college student. Knowing that the cost of attending a small, four year liberal arts college would require him to find a job if he was not able to identify alternative means of financing his education. As a result, Brian applied for numerous scholarships and received the Lenawee County Education Foundation’s Downing Business Scholarship.

The Downing Business Scholarship is a two year scholarship for Lenawee County students wishing to pursue higher education in a business related field. Brian applied his scholarship towards his studies at Mount Vernon Nazarene University in Mount Vernon, Ohio where he earned a Bachelor of Arts degree in Accounting and Business Administration.

After graduation, Brian was able to find employment with the ProMedica Health System. He began working with ProMedica as a staff accountant in March of 1997 and today holds the position of Director of Accounting for the ProMedica Health System (non-acute care) where he is responsible for oversight and administration of the accounting departments for all non-hospital business units of the ProMedica Health System.

Brian has a great deal of pride in the support that he received from the Lenawee community. In reflecting on his scholarship he says, “It is great to have local support when you are doing anything in life. Knowing that there are people who believe in what you are doing and pursuing can be a great motivator. Having the financial support from the LCEF allowed me to have a full experience of college” Thanks to the support of the Downing Business Scholarship, Brian was able to participate in student government, intramural athletics, college clubs and organizations and the school newspaper; all items that helped shaped him as a person and professional.

“I would tell potential donors that helping by providing scholarships is a great way to invest in the future, show your support of the youth in the area, and provide a valuable opportunity to someone.”  – Brian Hansen

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