The Rotary Club of Dearborn hosted a dinner at Henry Ford College in May to honor 26 recipients of this year’s annual scholarships totaling $71,200.
“It was an honor to host and meet these outstanding students, their family members, teachers and school officials,” said 2021-22 Rotary Dearborn President Shannon Peterson. “Helping students continue their education has been a major area of service and fundraising for our club.”
The Rotary Club of Dearborn will celebrate its 100th anniversary in 2023, and club records show it has awarded more than $700,000 in scholarships since 1999.
This year’s scholarships included 21 high school seniors, two Henry Ford College (HFC) nursing students, two veterans attending the University of Michigan-Dearborn, and an award to a qualified participant in the 19th District Veterans Court.
The scholarships awarded to high school graduates at Dearborn are divided into four merit-based categories. Each award category is endowed by or honors a former Dearborn Rotarian, who recognized the importance of education and sought to pay for his own success by helping outstanding young people pay their college fees. Scholarship amounts range from $2,500 to $9,500.
Dearborn High School’s Olivia Sherman received the prestigious $9,500 Harry A. Sisson Scholarship. She will attend the University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, to major in environmental engineering and continue her education with a focus on environmental law and legislation.
Glen Warren of Dearborn High School and Malak Elayyan, dual-enrolled at HFC and Dearborn High, are the recipients of the Hugh M. Archer Scholarship, established in memory of the longtime Dearborn resident and Rotarian. In addition to founding the Spiratex company and numerous professional accomplishments, Archer served as president of the Rotary Club of Dearborn, Rotary district governor, international director, international general secretary, and international president in 1989-90.
The Past Presidents Scholarship was largely funded through the generosity of former Edsel Ford High School Principal and former Dearborn Rotary President, Dr. Robert Young. It is awarded to four graduates of Dearborn Public School who will attend college or university in Michigan. This year’s scholarship recipients are Mohamman Alhameed and Assmaa Eidy, both enrolled at Fordson High School and HFC, and Hilal Baydoun and Ahmed Kaid, both enrolled at Edsel Ford High School and HFC.
The largest scholarship category is the Otto Rowen Professional Scholarship honoring the memory of the former Rotarian, teacher, and principal of Dearborn Public Schools (DPS). Dearborn Rotary established the trust fund administered by The Rotary Foundation of Dearborn to provide scholarships to DPS students who are the best representatives in their professional fields, as recommended by their instructors. The prizes can be used for expenses related to their professional activities.
Otto Rowen scholarships were awarded to 14 students, including Zeinab Alzayadi, Fordson High School (FHS) and Career Academy (CA); Brendan Andrews, Edsel Ford High School (EFHS); Youssef Balaghi, Dearborn High School (DHS) and CA; Amanie Elgahmi, Henry Ford Early College (HFEC); Naser Elgarmi, HFEC; Adam Farhat, DHS and Michael Berry Career Center (MBCC); Michael Haddock, EFHS; Kaylyn Levasseur, DHS Collegiate Academy; Joseph Marano, EFHS; Angela Matta, EFHS and MBCC; Adam Ramadan, EFHS and MBCC; Daoud Saleh, FHS; Batoul Tarhini; HFEC Nursing; and Ali Yassine, DHS and MBCC.
Nearly 20 years ago, Dearborn Rotary established the Henry Ford College (HFC) Nursing Scholarship in conjunction with the Henry Ford College Foundation. This year, scholarships were awarded to two HFC nursing students – Muhammed Awada and Leslie Villagomez.
The Archer Veterans Scholarship at the University of Michigan-Dearborn was made possible by an endowment funded by the Archer Family, Spiratex Corporation, and Dearborn Rotary. This year scholarships were awarded to two non-traditional students, Phil Rodriguez and Terry Swain.
Rodriguez is a Detroit police officer who served in the USMC and participated in the military operation in Somalia. Swain served 10 years in the U.S. Army as an infantryman, supporting himself entirely by working two jobs and attending college full-time.
Archer Veterans Scholarship funds are also available to eligible participants of the 19th District Veterans Court, a program designed to help veterans in need of mental health or addiction treatment and other services. Archer funds help veterans continue their education by becoming active members of the community.
Peterson reminded dinner attendees that this is the first year Dearborn Rotary has been able to host the scholarship celebration since the 2022 graduates were high school freshmen.
“Dearborn Rotary appreciates the support Dearborn Public Schools and Henry Ford College provide to the club’s scholarship program and celebration,” said Lee Hollmann, Dearborn Rotarian and chair of the scholarship committee. “Many Rotarians in Dearborn volunteer hours to make our scholarship program a success.”
Founded in 1923, The Rotary Club of Dearborn is the city’s oldest service organization and is a proud member of Rotary International uniting more than 1.4 million members in more than 46,000 individual clubs to live the motto “Service Above Self”.