MSGCU Announces 2023 Scholarship Program Honorees

CLINTON TOWNSHIP, Mich. – May 4, 2023 – Michigan Schools and Government Credit Union (MSGCU) is awarding more than $110,000 in scholarships to 47 Michigan residents this year. MSGCU reviewed 345 applications and is proud to award 29 students and four educators with $2,500 scholarships. The Credit Union also funds $2,000 scholarships for 14 aspiring first responders from local community colleges.

MSGCU’s scholarship program was created nearly 20 years ago to assist high school students pursuing higher education. It has grown to include scholarships for future teachers, current educators returning to school, and those seeking careers in skilled trades and as first responders. The Credit Union’s mission is strongly rooted in giving back, and its scholarship program illustrates its commitment to helping the community members it serves across Michigan build a strong financial future. MSGCU welcomes everyone in Michigan to bank with them and is proud to support the educational endeavors of local residents.

“As an organization founded by teachers, we believe education is the foundation for success and provides individuals with the tools they need to reach career goals,” said Steve Brewer, MSGCU President/CEO. “Completing a college degree, obtaining skilled trades certification, or graduating as a first responder requires a great deal of ambition, as well as a significant financial investment. We aim to reduce the monetary burden on students through our scholarship program.”

The Credit Union selects honorees that demonstrate academic excellence, a passion for community service, and the dedication that’s needed to pursue higher education. MSGCU’s scholarship program begins accepting applications each year in January, with recipients awarded in early May.

2023 Scholarship Honorees

The William Cayen Skilled Trades Scholarship is named after current Board Chairman, William Cayen, who has a passion for helping students achieve their dreams and follow their passions. William Cayen has served on the MSGCU Board for more than 50 years. He retired from public education after serving 35 years as a teacher, counselor, and high school principal. The William Cayen Skilled Trades Scholarship was established in 2019 to help offset the cost of a certificate program in carpentry, electrical, construction, HVAC, machining, or other industrial skilled trades, which are in high demand in Michigan.

The two recipients of the William Cayen Skilled Trades Scholarship are:

  • Mari Anzicek, Detroit Electrical Industry Training Center
  • Tarik Kaliman, MIAT College of Technology

The Rudolph Heino High School Scholarship is named in honor of the late Rudolph C. Heino. Mr. Heino served as a dedicated Board Member for 28 years and retired as a principal from the Roseville School District, where he served for 32 years. In 2004, MSGCU established a scholarship program to honor his commitment and tenure of service to both the educational and credit union communities. The Rudolph Heino High School Scholarship recognizes high school seniors committed to inspiring others through service and leadership and upholding the credit union philosophy of people helping people.

The five recipients of the Rudolph Heino High School Scholarship are:

  • Stella Drozdowicz, Bishop Foley High School
  • Sophia Nash, Algonac High School
  • Jovana Peroska, Dakota High School
  • Natalie Pitera, Stevenson High School
  • Grace Stenger, Marian High School

The Larry Swantek Educational Studies Scholarship is named in honor of the late Lawrence F. Swantek, who served on the Board for 32 years. Mr. Swantek retired from teaching in the Lake Shore School District where he served as a teacher, a computer consultant, and an administrator. MSGCU established a scholarship in 2012 to honor his dedication and passion as an educator. The Larry Swantek Educational Studies Scholarship recognizes high school seniors and current college students committed to pursuing the field of education as a career.

The four recipients of the Larry Swantek Educational Studies Scholarship are:

  • Zoe Gress, Northern Michigan University
  • Connor Henion, Saginaw Valley State University
  • Natalie Bennett, Romeo High School
  • Mackenzie Koehn, Dakota High School

The Milo Perreault Educator Advantage Scholarship is named in honor of the late Milo J. Perreault, who served on the MSGCU Board for 24 years. His passion for education was demonstrated in his 40-year tenure at Fraser High School where he mentored countless students and became a pillar in the school community. Established in 2015 and renamed to honor Mr. Perreault in 2020, the Milo Perreault Educator Advantage scholarship is designed for educators and administrators to help cover the costs of continuing education while honoring a commitment to advancing their skills.

The four recipients of the Milo Perreault Educator Advantage Scholarship are:

  • Katie Kilgore, Wayne State University
  • Makenzie Kroll, Spring Arbor University
  • John LaFever, Western Michigan University
  • Heidi Phelps, Grand Canyon University

The Educational Solutions Scholarship is designed for high school seniors planning to attend a two- or four-year college or university. The scholarship helps offset the cost of earning a degree while celebrating higher education’s ability to change lives for the better.

The 18 recipients of the Educational Solutions Scholarship are:

  • Mackenzie Bennetts, Mercy High School
  • Ava Carr, Grosse Pointe South High School
  • Jacob Dokho, International Academy Bloomfield Hills
  • Nina Freeman, Berkley High School
  • Ian Gudenau, University Liggett High School
  • Saadia Haque, Troy Athens High School
  • Om Joshi, International Academy Bloomfield Hills
  • Gjonpjer Kola, Chippewa Valley High School
  • Jessica Mathew, Troy High School
  • Jenson Moss, Utica High School
  • Zeinab Musa, Franklin High School
  • Hayden Perron, South Lake High School
  • Nathan Rakolta, North Farmington High School
  • Lindsay Royston, Novi High School
  • Eva Schienke, Lakeview High School
  • Alexis Spitzley, Ovid-Elsie High School
  • Abigail Vincler, Stoney Creek High School
  • Sonnet Xu, Troy High School

In addition to MSGCU’s educational, skilled trades, and continuing education scholarships, MSGCU offers the Stephen Thomas First Responder Scholarship. The scholarship is named in honor of the late Stephen E. Thomas, who served on the MSGCU Board for 21 years. He was a Vietnam War Veteran, a retired Sergeant of the Macomb County Sheriff Department, and retired as the Administrator of the Special Investigation Unit for Michigan Basic Property Insurance Association. A total of $28,000 in scholarships will be awarded to cadets enrolled in the fire and/or police academies at Macomb Community, Oakland Community, Washtenaw Community, and Schoolcraft Colleges. MSGCU was proud to add the police academy at Washtenaw Community College to its scholarship program in 2023. The Credit Union is providing scholarships to support future police officers in this community and celebrate the opening of its first branch office in Washtenaw County, located in Saline. MSGCU is also opening a branch office in Ann Arbor later this year.

Visit to learn more about the scholarship program and view this year’s recipients.