Community foundations, Superintendent’s Scholarship program invest in UCS College Culture
Community foundations, Superintendent’s Scholarship program invest in UCS College Culture
Posted on 05/11/2017
Group photo of foundation members

More than 40 Utica Community Schools seniors were recently recognized as recipients through the 2017 Superintendent’s Scholarship program, thanks to the UCS Foundation for Educational Excellence and other community organizations.

The program, now in its 8th year, provided $53,500 in awards to 44 graduates through superintendent’s and community-based scholarship programs.

 “Our scholarship recipients have different backgrounds and experiences, but they all reflect the spirit of our district,” superintendent Dr. Christine Johns said. “That spirit is represented in a commitment to academic excellence, service to our community, participation in multiple extracurricular activities and a plan to make a real difference in this world.”

Funding for the scholarships is primarily through the UCS Foundation for Educational Excellence from its Evening of Excellence program, held each spring.

Since the inception of the scholarship program with the class of 2010, the foundation has provided more than $220,000 in scholarships to UCS graduates.

New for this year were two $5,000 scholarships from Altair for students pursuing careers in Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM).

Students receiving superintendent’s scholarships were honored at a recognition event on April 27. In addition to the Superintendent’s and Altair scholarships, the program also recognized students receiving scholarships through Brett Klenow Scholarship Fund, Stefan’s Hope, and the Shelby Lions Club Steve Messina Excellence in CTE Scholarship Fund.

Scholarship honorees, high schools, career choices and colleges are:

Superintendent’s Scholarship
Kerestin Aziz (Henry Ford II High School - UCMST) - Biological Sciences/Pre-Med, Wayne State University
Alyssa Baginski (Stevenson High School) - Doctorate of Nurse Practice, Oakland University
Ryan Barkley (Henry Ford II High School) - Environmental Biology, Western Michigan University
Kaitlin Bedenko (Henry Ford II High School) - Mechanical Engineer, Kettering University
Sanya Bency (Henry Ford II High School) - Electrical Engineering, Oakland University
Justin Bennie (Henry Ford II High School - UCSI) - Electrical Engineering, Michigan State University
Gabe Bosco (Eisenhower High School) - Anthropology, Kalamazoo College
Roza Deda (Utica High School) - Legal Studies, Michigan State University
MaKyla DeRue (Alternative Learning Center) - Early Childhood Development, Oakland Community College
Deanna Dickow (Stevenson High School) - Engineering/Law, Macomb Community College
Charlene Dukes (Utica High School )- Mathematics Education, Michigan State University
Fatima Elzhenni (Stevenson High School) - Pre-Law, Wayne State University
Aaron Ferdinande (Henry Ford II High School) - Engineering, University of Michigan - Dearborn
Kaelyn Fife (Utica Academy for International Studies) - Neuroscience-Physician Assistant, Michigan State University
Charles Fromm (Utica High School - UCSI) - Paper Engineering, Western Michigan University
Nicholas Holly (Stevenson High School) - Civil Engineering, Michigan State University
Isabel Holtan (Henry Ford II High School)  – Biomedical Engineering, University of Michigan
Michael Hromada (Stevenson High School) - Biochemistry, Michigan Technological University
Jordan Jaklic (Eisenhower High School) - Physical Therapy, Central Michigan University
Alena Jalics (Utica High School - UCMST) - Pre-Pharmacy/Pre-Medicine, Wayne State University
Allyson John (Utica Academy for International Studies) - Marketing, Michigan State University
Danielle Kaschalk (Utica High School) - Marketing, Michigan State University
Sydney Labon (Eisenhower High School)  - Biology, University of Michigan – Flint
Lyndsey Lavelle (Utica High School - UCSI) - Business, Alma College
Joana Lepuri (Utica Academy for International Studies) - International Relations and Chemistry, University of Chicago
Nora Micakaj (Stevenson High School) - Business Management, Wayne State University
Madison Nacker (Eisenhower High School) - International Relations, Michigan State University
Anthony Russo (Eisenhower High School) - Business, Michigan State University
Antonio Segura (Eisenhower High School) - Computer Science, University of Detroit Mercy
Aleaha Smith (Eisenhower High School) - Business and Art and Design, Michigan State University
Felicia Soderberg (Utica Academy for International Studies) - Gender Studies and Political Science, Wesleyan University
Polina Stoppa (Henry Ford II High School) - Business, Michigan State University
Christiana Strong (Stevenson High School) - Biological Science, Michigan Technological University
Dalton Vargason (Alternative Learning Center) - General Studies, Macomb Community College
John Vulaj (Henry Ford II High School) - Business, University of Michigan
Cameron Walker (Henry Ford II High School) - Engineering, Oakland University
Emerson Wigand (Eisenhower High School - UCSI) - Political Theory and Constitutional Democracy, Michigan State University
Mark Zora (Alternative Learning Center) - Law, Macomb Community College

Altair STEM Scholarship
Elisabeth Pettibone (Henry Ford II High School - UCMST) - Pre-Med/Biological Science, University of Alabama
Zachary Pickell (Eisenhower High School - UCMST) - Biomechanical Science, University of Michigan

Stefan’s Hope
Anthony Asgarally (Utica High School) - Criminal Justice, Oakland University
Joshua Cutway (Utica High School - UCSI) - Meteorology, Macomb Community College

Brett Klenow Scholarship
Alexander Rowe (Henry Ford II High School) - Electrical Engineering, University of Toledo

Steve Messina Excellence in CTE Scholarship
Tyler Newton (Utica High School) - Business, Bowling Green State University


Front row left to right:  Roza Deda, Christiana Strong, Sanya Bency, Kaitlin Bedenko, Allyson John, Sydney Labon, Lyndsey Lavelle

Second row left to right:  Linda Colton, Sue Chown, Steve Truman, Michele Templeton, Gene Klida, Dr. Christine Johns, Robert Van Camp, Dan Wesner, Bob Wilcox, Lester Gilbert

Third row left to right:  Isabel Holtan, Felicia Soderberg, Anthony Asgarally, Justin Bennie, Alexander Rowe, Gabe Bosco, Antonio Segura

Fourth row left to right:  Zachary Pickell, Aaron Ferdinande, Dalton Vargason, Cameron Walker, Joshua Cutway, Charles Fromm, Michael Hromada, Emerson Wigand, Anthony Russo

Fifth row left to right:  Ryan Barkley, Elisabeth Pettibone, Nora Micakaj, Jordan Jaklic, Madison Nacker, Deanna Dickow, Charlene Dukes, MaKyla DeRue, Alena Jalics