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Community Foundation’s Scholarship Program Reaches New Milestones

June 28, 2022 – Congrats to the class of 2022! Throughout the past four years, our graduating seniors have faced many challenges and continued persisting to reach this incredible milestone. The Community Foundation for Oceana County and its scholarship donors are thrilled to welcome these young adults into the next stage of their life and provide financial support for their college education. In total, the Foundation’s 2022 Scholarship Program awarded over $273,500 to 164 recipients – 245 individual scholarships in all! 

This year’s program marks the Foundation’s largest yearly investment in education. In the past ten years, the Foundation’s scholarship program has nearly tripled in size from 2012’s $99,000 in scholarship awards. Other milestones include the largest percentage of scholarship applicants identifying as first-generation (41%) and Latinx (25%). Awards were equally split between graduating high school seniors and college and adult learners. A growing pathway amongst Oceana’s high school and adult learners is those pursuing a career in skilled trades – this year 12% of scholarship recipients desire to become electricians, plumbers, and other tradespersons. To view the full list of scholarship recipients (incoming freshman, college & adult learners) check out the Foundation’s website. The Foundation currently houses 51 scholarship funds – all made possible through the generosity of Oceana’s residents, businesses, schools, and organizations. Together, these donors are making an incredible impact on the lives of students. 

“We are a community that wants every individual to succeed. Our donors are not only investing in students, but in Oceana’s future,” Foundation CEO Tammy Carey stated. While the scholarship application opens October 1 for high school seniors and current college students, adult learners are encouraged to apply to the rolling Adult, or Complete Your Degree, application links off of the Foundation’s website. 

Four new scholarship funds were established and awarded their first scholarships in 2022. These newest funds are the Larry Wagner Appletree Automotive Skilled Trades Scholarship, the Parrington/Heyde Scholarship, the Ryan Scott Prudhomme Memorial Scholarship, and the Sharon Bowen Memorial Scholarship.  

The Larry Wagner Appletree Automotive Skilled Trades Scholarship Fund was established by Chad Coker and the Wagner Family. As the industrial arts teacher in Hart Schools and founder of Appletree Automotive, Larry inspired those around him to pursue their passion for skilled trades and entrepreneurship. Chad, one of Larry’s past employees and successor of Appletree Automotive, explains Larry’s impact, “It is our goal to continue Larry’s legacy of supporting the young men and women in our community that will become our next generation of skilled tradesmen.” 

The Parrington/Heyde Scholarship Fund was established by Mary Ellen Heyde and Gordon Parrington after retiring from their careers in STEM. Mary Ellen is a former Ford Executive and chemist, specializing in research and product development. Gordon shares her love of exploration and STEM, as he dedicated his career to teaching Westland Public School students biology. Their unique experiences with education and research promoted their creation of the Parrington/Heyde Scholarship – a merit-based scholarship supporting students pursuing STEM careers. 

The Ryan Scott Prudhomme Memorial Scholarship Fund was established by Ryan’s wife, Kendra Prudhomme Smith, and his parents, Steve & Cathey Prudhomme. Ryan Scott Prudhomme strove daily to brighten the lives of those around him through servanthood and service. After graduating from Hart High School, Ryan attended Cornerstone University and Michigan State University before returning to Oceana County to serve at Grace Adventures. In 2013, he passed away from cancer and courageously shared his battle publicly in writing and speaking opportunities to encourage others. To honor Ryan’s dedication to his community and service, his scholarship is awarded to students illustrating ambition, resilience, service, and passion in their pursuit of education. 

The Sharon Bowen Memorial Scholarship Fund was established by Roger Bowen, her husband. Sharon had great musical talent at playing the dulcimer, a stringed folk instrument. In addition to playing music, Sharon’s greatest talent was her ability to connect with people and she is actively remembered by her network of friends, family, and fellow musicians. Her scholarship supports graduating seniors, current college students, or adult learners who graduated from Shelby High School pursuing any degree or certification in music or health. 

For more information about making a gift, now or through an estate plan, creating a named fund at the Foundation, or to learn more about new scholarship programs under consideration, call Tammy Carey at 231-869-3377. To learn more about scholarship opportunities visit the foundation’s website at