2022 Foundation Scholarship Recipients

Veronica Berkemeier

Jackson College makes it possible for young mothers to earn a college degree! That’s the experience of student Veronica Berkemeier, now expecting her third child while pursuing her own college dreams.

Receiving a Jackson College Foundation scholarship diminishes the financial strain that tuition bills can bring! “I’m free to attend classes as frequently as I like. I won’t have to regrettably sit out a semester here or there and delay my degree.”

Berkemeier chose Jackson College because she can complete an associate degree totally online, something crucial with a young family. “The flexible attendance options that Jackson College offers make attending school while pregnant and with a newborn possible. It also means that mothers no longer have to choose between chasing their dreams and raising their families.”

Now Berkemeier can complete her college degree without any financial burdens. She can attend college without any student loans, which fits with a goal for her family, striving to be debt-free in five years.

“This will keep me on track to graduate at the end of 2023 and in turn, allow me to better support my growing family and community sooner. With no barriers preventing me from achieving my associate degree, I’m now one step closer to being the first person in my family to earn a bachelor’s degree and showing my children that their dreams are attainable if they only put in the time and effort to achieve them.

“I’m extremely grateful to the Jackson College Foundation for helping connect students in need with generous donors and, in turn, making higher education possible for students like me!”  

James Berry Jr. 

Getting a scholarship is like scoring extra bases for student-athlete James Berry Jr.

Berry is a baseball player for the Jackson College Jets under head coach Rick Smith, and he is also studying marketing and sport management. Smith first let him know about Jackson College Foundation scholarships, and Berry applied right away.

“Receiving a scholarship has been a great help at relieving some of the stress that comes with getting an education,” Berry said. “Scholarships give me peace of mind. They make costs easier on my parents, so I don’t have to worry about if they are going to be able to afford it or not.”

Jackson College was an affordable option for Berry, and he could obtain an associate degree before attending a four-year university. While earning his bachelor’s degree, he hopes to also play baseball for a university. It will be easier to do all of this with scholarships.

“Having costs cut down means that there will be more money available to me when I am looking to transfer from Jackson College. Knowing that my options for further education are expanded allows me to have more confidence and work harder so that I can go to a university that is a good fit both academically and athletically.” 

Shayna Blakely-Yoder

A Jackson College Foundation scholarship allows Hillsdale-area student Shayna Blakely-Yoder to fulfill a very personal goal.
From an early age, Blakely-Yoder knew she wanted to do something to help people. “Being a paramedic has been my dream since I was a kid. My grandpa has passed away, and I have wanted to be a paramedic to help people like him on their worst day.”

Studying emergency medical services – paramedic at JC for the last three years takes her closer to her goal. The job offers challenges – being the go-to person in an emergency situation and adjusting to each unique situation. “I enjoy being there for people and doing what I love to do. My goal is to make a difference on a patient’s worst day of someone’s life.”

Blakely-Yoder worked six years as an EMT with the Moscow Fire Department, a few months with the Hillsdale Township Fire Department, and recently started with the Reading Emergency Unit as she completes the paramedic program. Scholarships have helped make it possible.

“It means being able to attend and afford college. These scholarship funds have helped me receive my EMT license and have the ability to further my education to attend the paramedic program, then receive the license after the program is finished.”

For the donors who make scholarships possible, Blakely-Yoder thanks them with her whole heart. “I wish I could express how thankful I am to have been able to afford the paramedic program with their help. I couldn’t have afforded it without them.”

Now, with her goal in sight, she recalls what her grandpa would say to her. “He would tell me to keep going and I will get to where I want to be in this world. He would tell me that if I love it, to do it and stick with it. The help of scholarships has made this possible.”

Your support helps!

Now more than ever, college students can benefit from a helping hand. Jackson College’s commitment to student success remains stronger than ever. Donors’ support can help so that overwhelmed students can focus on their education and come ready to learn.