Six college students are going to make an impact in Shiawassee County this summer. The second class of Owosso Fellows, half who attended high school in the County and half from elsewhere, will be working for local organizations, undertaking several service projects, and learning about what makes a strong community.
This year’s fellows are, from left to right: Christian Van Epps, a University of Michigan Junior, will be working for the Shiawassee Economic Development Partnership; Mary Shi, a recent graduate from Yale, will be helping plan pedestrian and bike improvements for the City of Owosso; Chloe Larkin, a Yale sophomore, will be promoting tennis and fitness through the Shiawassee Family Y; Courtney Crawford, finishing her first year at Michigan, will contribute to early childhood health through Great Start Shiawassee; Emma Tompkins, a Michigan sophomore, will be helping arrange the upcoming Seuss exhibit at the Shiawassee Arts Council; and Spencer Klavan, who just graduated from Yale, will be directing “Robin Hood” with the Owosso Community Players.
Returning as coordinator of the program is Owosso High and Yale alumna, Heather Rivard. In its second year, the Fellows program combines two goals of the Cook Family Foundation: to support talented youth in their educational development, and to build the capacity of community organizations in Shiawassee County.
To learn more about the Fellows program, go here; to read testimonials from last year’s fellows, go here.
The Cook Family Foundation recently recognized 25 students from the greater Shiawassee County area who are attending the University of Michigan this coming Fall. All of them have been awarded scholarships from the Foundation, and several have received additional scholarships from the University. In total, the scholarships awarded total $298,500. In addition to these merit-based scholarships, many of these students are also receiving need-based financial aid.
Jackie and Bruce Cook present their scholarship to Nolan Wendling and his parents Lisa and Allan Wendling
The following students from nine local high schools have been awarded scholarships from the Cook Family Foundation. Byron: Vanessa Kiefer; Chesaning: Jared Weisenberger; Corunna: Nathan Dennison, Anthony Ferzo, Stephanie Rasmussen; Durand: Madeline Dietrich, Tyler Lockhart; Laingsburg: Kirsten Johnson; New Lothrop: Arman Jacob Aznavorian, Bryce Birchmeier, Taylor Krupp, Cody Symons, Nolan Wendling, Kyle White; Ovid-Elsie: Logan Applebee, Hunter Charvat, Maureen Wiltsee; Owosso: Jordan Bannan, Caitlin Harrell, David Hoffa, Janae Hurd, Geoffrey McClung, Madison Van Epps; Perry: Alex Proudfoot, Taylor White
While all of these students are accomplished and at the top of their class, several students received special scholarships. Nolan Wendling of New Lothrop received the Bruce & Jackie Cook Scholarship, a four-year full tuition scholarship to attend the UM Ross School of Business. Kirsten Johnson of Laingsburg was awarded the Donald Cook Scholarship from UM’s College of Literature, Science and the Arts. Jared Weisenberger of Chesaning was named one of the prestigious Shipman Scholars and will study mathematics at UM. You can read more about the scholarships from the Cook Family Foundation (click here).
Tom Cook presents the Donald Cook Scholarship to Kirsten Johnson and her mother Brenda Johnson
The Cook Family Foundation has awarded a $20,000 grant to the Steam Railroading Institute in Owosso to contribute to the recent restoration of the 1225 Pere Marquette steam engine. This multi-year overhaul was necessary for the 1225 to gain Federal approval to carry passengers on its famous North Pole Express and other excursions.
The Steam Railroading Institute (SRI) will be hosting a Train Expo June 20-22 that will feature the 1225 and several other steam engines, special historical airplane exhibits, and an antique car show. You can learn more about the extravaganza at the SRI website.
The Cook Family Foundation provided some of the earliest outside funding to help support the growth of SRI at its location in Owosso, and its museum has become part of the cultural landscape and railroad heritage of Shiawassee County. SRI has also been a participant in the Foundation’s Nonprofit Capacity Building Program , and has used these resources to strengthen the organization, improve board governance, and carry out strategic planning.