Written by Anir Senyah
Over the 4 years, they have raised over $10,000.00 and have disbursed $1,000.00 scholarships to students who were members of participating churches.
Their efforts have already borne fruit during the first 4 years. One success story was shared by Brian Boles, a scholarship recipient, who attend the event and spoke passionately about the power of getting an education. He is currently employed as a 4th grade teacher in Champagne, IL.
Brian credits his success to his faith in God and help from the scholarship that he received.
Pastor R.E. Nicholson, of Grace Tabernacle Church said that the scholarship program was in place to plant seeds. He would like for more pastors to become involved to assist in a collaborative effort to educate students.
Pastor Nicholson said with conviction, "It takes a village to raise a child and we need more ministers and pastors working together to make sure that no one gets left behind."
He made reference to the fact that two students who applied for the scholarship were not considered because they did not belong to a church that participated in the program.
Unlike most scholarship recipients who generally maintain a 4.0 to 3.5 GPA, the Clergy Forum’s aim is to support the average academic student.
The student must be able to write an essay and then submit it to their prospective church. A review committee then decides who is going to become the recipient of the funds.
The Clergy Forum’s objective is to provide middle academic students with financial assistance. The student could also be attending a trade school or a two-year school.
Nicholson’s passionate plea went out the congregation to get their prospective churches and religious leaders involved in this particular program. He indicated that all churches are into helping people but churches also need to help each other as well.
According to a new poll by EPIC-MRA, only 27 percent of Michigan parents say that having a good education is essential for getting ahead in life.
This attitude could also result in lower expectations from the students. This attitude also reflects that there is a need for a collective scholarship program between different churches. This scholarship program allows churches to work together to support the community and their perspective congregations.
Pastor R.E. Nicholson of Grace Tabernacle Church addresses the congregation and community about the importance of supporting higher education as Rev. Dr. Melvin Jones of Union Missionary Baptist Church looks on. Both churches contribute to the scholarship fund.