The Pokagon Fund Scholarship Recipients Announced for 2017-18 Academic Year

NEW BUFFALO, MI, May 12, 2017 -- The Pokagon Fund announced scholarship awards totaling $100,000 given to 16 deserving adult and high school recipients for the 2017-18 academic year. 

 “Providing financial assistance to advance the careers of our Harbor Country residents not only benefits our local families, but it enhances the well-being of our entire region as well,” stated New Buffalo Township Clerk Judy Zabicki, who also serves on The Pokagon Fund Scholarship Selection Committee. 

 Since 2011, The Pokagon Fund has granted a total of $585,000 in scholarship funds to support local residents.

 The Pokagon Fund’s scholarship selections are based on academic merit and financial need.  Of those receiving an award in 2017, 10 are women and 6 are men.  Although the majority of recipients will be attending Michigan-based institutions, several will be traveling to other states including Ohio and Indiana to pursue their scholastic dreams. 

 The Adult Students in Scholastic Transition (ASIST) program was launched in 2012, and financial awards may be used for professional certificate programs, licensure, two-and four-year undergraduate degrees, and graduate school. Grant award amounts vary each year, and may be renewable for multiple-year programs.  This year’s winners are: 

  • Barb Anderson, $9,500, Associates Degree in Accounting, Lake Michigan College
  • Caili Armstrong, $5,000, B.S. in Health Studies, Purdue Northwest University
  • Jamie Coar, $10,000, M.S. in Healthcare Administration, Ferris State University
  • Rebecca Fuller, $8,600, Master of Architecture, Andrews University
  • Dan Giancaspro, $5,000, B.F.A. in Metal/Jewelry, Western Michigan University
  • Amanda Hall, $4,000, M.S. in Recreation/Sports Management, Indiana State University
  • Spencer Heirman, $6,000, B.A. in Sports Marketing, Lake Michigan College
  • Scott Schneckenburger, $876, to obtain a Michigan Builders License
  • Ryan Kenny, $4,400, B.A. in Hospitality/Tourism Management, Grand Valley State University
  • Colin Kenny, $5,400, B.A. in Liberal Studies, Purdue Northwest University
  • Courtney Kliss, $5,000, B.A. in Gender Studies, University of Massachusetts, Dartmouth online program
  • Donna Lockman, $5,000, B.S. in Nursing Science, Purdue Northwest University


High school scholarships are awarded annually in the spring.  Although the Fund has received ample applications in the past, the number of applicants was down significantly this year.  

“The only disappointing factor about the scholarship selection process this year is that there were so few high school applicants,” stated New Buffalo City Councilmember Liz Ennis, who also sits on The Pokagon Fund Board.  “The financial support is available, and we wish more students would take advantage of the opportunity,” Ennis added. 

The winners of this year’s scholarships are:

  • Lauren Aroney, $10,000, Indiana University-Purdue University
  • Allyson White, $10,000, Albion College
  • Mason Derkacy, $1,168, Ohio State University
  • Ashley Jones, $10,000, Central Michigan University