Some class of 2020 seniors get front lawn surprise with college scholarship money

Graduating from high school is a lot different this year because of the pandemic. A metro area credit union is helping some members of the class of 2020 by hand-delivering some scholarship money.

"Thank you guys, I appreciate it, thank you for coming that was so cool," said Madison Moore.

It provided a little bright spot in what has undoubtedly been a bizarre high school senior year for Moore, from Livonia.

"I'm so excited to grow and learn more about leadership," she said. "I am kind of undecided about my major right now, because I think things are bound to change, and I'm not really sure. But I'm considering communications."

It's not every day you're awarded $5,000 from the Community Choice Foundation to head to college in the fall. 

 "One of the things that has been so heartwarming to us throughout this pandemic is the support of our community. Whether it is business partners like Community Choice, or other community and municipal partners. One of the things we've seen over and over again, is our Livonia community coming together in support of our students - especially this special class of 2020," said Andrea Oquist, Livonia Schools superintendent.

By coincidence another Madison, Maddie Reynolds, also got a visit from this good news caravan. She'll be heading to Central Michigan University in the fall and also had her scholarship hand delivered Wednesday.

"I was very surprised because I knew there was a lot of applicants out there and I know they've done incredible things, so have I, so it was a surprise to me," she said.

Community Choice gave out $100,000 worth of scholarships this year despite the pandemic - and has been doing these front lawn mini-celebrations for recipients. It has brought a little good cheer for students who have missed a lot of in-person milestones in 2020.

"To have a community rally around these seniors is something that's really exciting. We have seen support in all different areas of the community and for Community Choice be able to step up and support these seniors, they can see that the impact they make will be returned to them," said Holli Kerkhof, Community Choice Credit Union.

Students must be pursuing their education at an institution in Michigan and pledge to stay in the state to be eligible. 

This year the Community Choice Foundation expanded the scholarship program to include continuing education and skilled trade programs. In 2020, there were 25 students across the state were awarded scholarships out of more than 1,000 applicants.