On Sunday August 7, 2023 we held our Scholarship ceremony in Ada, MI where we honored and presented our 4 winners with a $2500 scholarship each to help with college expenses. Each recipient has been faced with a blood cancer diagnosis either themselves or someone in their family. (From Left- Collin Hoffer, graduate from Catholic Central and on to Xavier, in Ohio to persue a Finance Degree. Brooklyn Becker Grandville HS, Graduate and attending Hope College now persuading a psychology major. Keleigh Hoffee, graduate of FCN and now attending Northernn MI University and working on her physical therapy degree. Trevor VanSkiver, graduate of FHC and now attending Hope College and going into pediatric medicine. We are so proud of our recipients and hope them the best in their futures.
Congratulations to this years scholarship winners; Trevor VanSkiver, Keleigh Hoffer, Brooklynn Becker and Collin Hoffer. They will each be awarded $2500 for college expenses at a presentation in Ada later this summer. We are so proud of all our scholarship winners for pursuing their passions even after a devastating cancer diagnosis for themself or someone in their family.
Trevor VanSkiver, I graduated from Forest Hills Central High School in 2023 with a 4.1 GPA. I am planning on attending Hope College in the fall, majoring in Microbiology with a hope to go to Medical School afterwards.
In my free time I enjoy rowing, playing guitar, skiing, and woodworking. I was the captain of my rowing team this year, where my varsity 4+ boat placed third at Scholastic Nationals, the best in school history. I also run Triathlons for Make-A-Wish and helped found the “Dream Team”, an endurance team through Make-A-Wish.
When I was 2 years old I was diagnosed with Acute Lymphoblastic Leukemia. I battled for over three years. Cancer took a lot of my childhood, but gave me so much more. It gave me a passion to give back to the community around me that’s given so much to me. My journey ultimately gave me a drive to pursue a career in the medical field to help, and give hope to people struggling with life threatening illnesses.
Keleigh Hoffer: I am a senior at Northern Michigan University and was a 2020 graduate of Forest Hills Northern High school. In high school, I was a member of the National Honors Society, senior advisory board, captain of the varsity swim team, and consistently an honor roll student. I have volunteered with Rays of Hope for Haiti, Kids Food Basket, helped with marathons and sporting events, done yard work for the elderly of Marquette county, and helped to run multiple bone marrow drives for Be the Match after my dads leukemia diagnosis in 2019. At NMU I am studying sports science and psychology in hopes of being accepted to a doctoral program for physical therapy after graduation. While at NMU I have been a member of the GLIAC championship winning varsity swim team, where I was awarded the “most improved” award during my freshman year, and I am an executive board member and the volunteer coordinator for the pre-physical therapy club. After seeing how devastating a cancer diagnosis can be on all members of a family, I hope that my career as a physical therapist, as well as my background in psychology can allow me to do what I can to help people through such tough times.
Collin Hoffer. I am a class of 2023 Catholic Central graduate, I will be attending Xavier University beginning in August pursuing a degree in finance. My dad was diagnosed with acute lymphoblastic leukemia when I was in 8th grade. There have been many ups and downs in these last four years. Thanks to the saving grace of God, along with the immense care he received from such brilliant doctors, he is now in remission. During my time in highschool, I played varsity hockey for three years and was honored with being the captain of the team my senior year. I was also on the CC Varsity golf team my senior year and was on the honor roll all four years. Catholic Central has helped me to grow in the values of being a servant leader that my parents have instilled in me from a young age. I have volunteered at many different non profits across west michigan but one stands out specifically. BeTheMatch; Be The Match is a global organization that helps to find stem cell donors for blood cancer patients in need of a stem cell transplant. When my father was diagnosed, my family helped organize several Be The Match sign ups where people could do a simple swab and send in their contact info to potentially help save lives. The glorification of this event was immediate when one of my cousins called my family informing us that he would be donating his stem cells to a young boy in dire need. Then again a few years later when my dad was in the hospital, in ICU, we got a call from another cousin with uplifting news that he too would be donating his stem cells. Both my cousins joined Be the Match as a result of the drives we set up in search of a donor for my dad. By taking a swab and joining the national registry you can literally save or extend someone’s life.If there is one thing I have learned from all that I have watched my father go through it is that you only live life once and you never know what tomorrow will bring so enjoy every minute you have and take advantage of enjoying everything you can that this life has to offer.
Brooklynn Becker graduated from Grandville High School in 2021 and in 2023 went on to earn her Associates degree from Grand Rapids Community College, where she was on the Dean’s List, as well as the President’s List. In her free time, Brooklynn enjoys singing, drawing, playing volleyball and spending time with friends and family. She was a member of the “Be NICE” and “Conservation and Culture” clubs all four years of high school and remains an active volunteer in her community. She currently mentors teens and young adults as a youth group leader through her church. Brooklynn will be starting her junior year at Calvin University this Fall, continuing her journey in the field of Psychology. She became interested in Psychology after seeing and experiencing the psychological toll a diagnosis of Multiple Myeloma brought on her and her family. Her father was diagnosed with this blood cancer in 2019 and she has also lost an aunt and an uncle to other forms of cancer. Through these experiences, Brooklynn has gained a great appreciation for the need of blood and bone marrow donation and continues to advocate and educate others on the importance of donation. With her degree in Psychology, Brooklynn will go on to help many others with their struggles in the future.