GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. (WOOD) – Just in time for back to school season, Grand Rapids Community Foundation announces its Board of Trustees approved $1.36 million in scholarships for the 2019-20 academic year.  Scholarships between $500 and $10,000 were awarded to 630 students.

Scholarship recipients included high school seniors, undergraduate and graduate students, and students pursuing trade certifications.  The top field of study for scholarship recipients continues to be health care.

“The Community Foundation is committed to increasing education opportunities for first generation college students,” said Ruth Bishop, education program officer at the Community Foundation. This year, 67% of the scholarships awarded were to first-generation college students and 71% went to students from low-income households. A majority of students, 75%, will attend college in Michigan.

Scholarship funds are created at the Community Foundation by donors who wish to honor a family member, support education in the community, encourage opportunities in a specific profession or provide for a student to attend a college they went to.

The newly established Grand Rapids Chamber ATHENA Eileen DeVries Scholarship Fund awarded five inaugural scholarships this year. The fund supports female students over the age of 30 attending an accredited vocational, technical or four-year institution in the Grand Rapids area.

The Pullen/Lambers Family Memorial Scholarship Fund was also recently established. The fund was established by Anthony Lambers in memory of his teacher, friend, and mentor from Wyoming Public Schools, Richard “RP” Pullen. Scholarships will support full or part-time undergraduate students graduating from Wyoming High School or Muskegon High School. The fund will award its first scholarship in 2020.

To help make this all possible, more than 100 community members volunteered their time to serve on 17 advisory committees to review 2,289 applications, transcripts and essays to make recommendations to the GRCF Board of Trustees. “The volunteer commitment to our scholarship review continues to be essential.  We certainly could not complete the process of reviewing so many applications without the assistance of our community selection committees,” said Ruth.

Scholarship applications for the 2020-21 academic year will open on Dec. 1. Applications and additional information on all Grand Rapids Community Foundation scholarships are available at

About the Grand Rapids Community Foundation – Grand Rapids Community Foundation leads Kent County in making positive, sustainable change. With its endowment, the Community Foundation supports local nonprofits, leads significant social change and helps donors achieve their philanthropic goals. For more information, please visit