2018-01-10 / Front Page

Scholarship welcomes students home

810-452-2684 • skovac@mihomepaper.com

Melissa Anderson Melissa Anderson The Sanilac County Community Foundation is pioneering new ground with the implementation of a “reverse scholarship” program.

“Though the idea has been working in other counties for some time, it is a first for us,” said Melissa Anderson, the foundation’s director.

“Because of the generosity of a local donor, Lexington businessman Bill Oldford, we are launching our new Welcome Home Scholarship. It is a reverse scholarship that works like this. Instead of us investing in the education of a student who goes off to a community college or university and earns a degree and then gets a job elsewhere, we are giving a scholarship to a student that returns home to live in Sanilac County after completing his or her degree.

“I believe this is a new way of supporting our county that will ensure that our talented youth return to their roots and bring back to this county the passion for their careers. I believe this will help our economy grow,” said Anderson.

The first scholarship, in what Anderson hopes will be one of many to come is The Barbara Oldford- Edwards Welcome Home Scholarship. The amount is $5,000, which will go to a single recipient on a competitive basis. It was established in honor of Bill Oldford’s late daughter Barbara, who studied nursing. Barbara passed away in 2013.

“To remember Barb, my dad decided to direct this scholarship to graduates in the field of nursing,” said Will Oldford, Bill’s son and president of Eastern Michigan Bank.

“He thinks it’s important to award the money to someone who has actually finished a degree in nursing. To reimburse them a little for their efforts. His motivation is to get talented young people to come back to Sanilac County. He hopes it will spur others to offer something similar.”

Eighty-nine-year-old Bill Oldford, a retired industrialist and real estate developer has a deep connection to Sanilac County, and a great admiration for nurses.

“My daughter Barbara always dreamed of becoming a nurse. She never quite made it, but she worked in nursing homes taking care of people,” said Bill. “Nursing is an admirable profession. It is difficult, demanding, and requires great dedication, and great love for our fellow man.

“I like the idea of this kind of scholarship because it identifies people who have already completed their training. I founded it as a way of helping them. Hopefully, this scholarship will continue for some years to come,” said Bill.

“The application process will begin on Wednesday, January 10,” said Anderson. “It must go through our website www.sanilacfoundation.org. We will continue accepting applications until a suitable number are received.”

Anderson explained that those eligible must meet the following criteria:

*Applicants must have received a degree in nursing from either a community college or university within the last seven years from the date of application.

*Applicants must have outstanding student debt arising from their degree or certificate education.

*Applicants may not be already residing within Sanilac County at the time of application.

*Applicants must demonstrate a desire to move to Sanilac County and make it their primary permanent residence.

*Applicants must find employment in the nursing field within Sanilac, St. Clair, and Huron counties. Preference will be given to those obtaining nursing jobs in Sanilac County.

*Preference will also be given to applicants who can demonstrate a previous residency of at least four years within Sanilac County, or who can demonstrate that their immediate family currently resides in Sanilac County.

*The scholarship winner shall have no more than 120 days to produce written proof of a job commitment from his or her employer in the field of nursing.

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