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Detroit Merit Student Wins $5,000 College Scholarship

Katelyn Hayes, an eighth grader at Detroit Merit Charter Academy, was surprised on May 19 in class when her principal and family entered her classroom with an over-sized check for her.

Detroit Merit Academy Principal Sandra Terry-Martin announced to the eighth-grade class that Hayes is the recipient of one of six $5,000 National Heritage Academies CollegeBound Scholarships this year.
Hayes, the first in her family to attend college, has shown interest in attending the University of Michigan, Ann Arbor.

“On behalf of National Heritage Academies, I want to congratulate Katelyn Hayes on winning one of the six scholarships,” said Tari Reinink, NHA chief marketing officer. “Katelyn’s essay, academics, and community involvement all speak to her outstanding character and dedication to furthering her education. I wish Katelyn all the best in both high school and college and look forward to seeing what she accomplishes next.”

Students from 84 schools in nine states applied for a one-time college scholarship from National Heritage Academies (NHA) CollegeBound Scholarship™ program. Out of hundreds of applicants, six were awarded the $5,000 scholarship to be used for their future college endeavors.

For the scholarship, each student had to submit an application and an essay based on one of four provided topics. Katelyn wrote about the moral focus lessons she has learned at her school.

In her essay she writes, “In the 7th grade I was cyberbullied. I was called things like ugly, stupid and a waste of space. I learned to overcome it by using my virtues that I had been learning since first grade.”

Hayes volunteers at a local food pantry, has been a peer mediator, is a member of the National Junior Honor Society, is active in her church, and is part of a dance troupe.

All eighth grade students who attend an NHA school are eligible for the scholarship. An independent professional selection group chose the winners based on their essay submission, academics, and community service.

Ninety-three percent of the scholarship money comes directly from NHA employee donations. Many NHA employees see the scholarship fund as a way to further support students and help them on the path toward college readiness.

National Heritage Academies is a charter school management company operating 84 schools in nine states for the 2016-17 school year. It is currently serving more than 56,000 students in grades kindergarten through eighth.‚Äč