The Holland/Zeeland Promise began in 2010 as a dream to replicate the Kalamazoo Promise and allow our area's young people to graduate college or technical school without the burden of crushing student debt.
Recognizing they did not have the kind of donor endowment which the Kalamazoo Promise enjoys, a group of business and community leaders came together to create the Holland/Zeeland Promise. Since its inception, the Promise has been housed at the Community Foundation of the Holland/Zeeland Area where it has received administrative support. CFHZ is proud to be part of the Promise's success story and future growth.
Promise candidates are nominated and recommended by their high school or Careerline Tech Center guidance counselors or staff at Hope College Trio's Upward Bound Program, Boys and Girls Club of Greater Holland or Latin Americans United for Progress.
Selection is based on a range of factors including high financial need, the motivation to achieve the goal of a college or technical degree, and proven academic success. In addition, most Promise recipients are the first in their families to go to college.
Since 2010, more than 100 individuals and businesses have supported 57 scholars as they have pursued degrees throughout Michigan. Most donors make a four-year pledge, their “promise,” which enables us to know that we can support a student all the way through school. Today’s average annual award size per student is $12,500.
Ten new Promise Scholars were chosen in 2020!
Current Promise Scholars
2020: Allisa, Alivia, Angel, Bruno, Esli, Esly, Gilma, Myriam, Nelson, Xitali
2019: Alexia, Alicia, Alyssa, Andy, Diana, Jaden, Jazmin, Katelyn, Isaac, and Truc
2018: Anna, Eliseo, Elizabeth, Graciela, Ivonne, Karen, Lesly, Lydia, Melissa, Nancy, Michael, and Taliah
2017: Arely, Freddie, Marisol, Marita, Micah, Taylor K., and Taylor W.
2016: David, Eric, Julian, Kariana, Rodrigo, Srey, and Tanya
2015: Diana, Edgar, and Nhi
Recent graduate, Tanya, celebrating her achievement. (Photo used with permission)
Congratulations to the Promise's most recent graduates, Jennifer and Michael! After graduation Jennifer began her marketing career at Katie L. Smith & Company in downtown Holland and Michael began serving as Special Assistant to Michigan's Senate Minority Leader.
Jennifer and Michael join Promise graduates: Allison, Andrew, Courtney, Cynthia, Dave, David, Diana, Edgar, Eric, Julian, Kariana, Laura, Lily, Nhi, Priscilla, Rodrigo, Rogelio, Tanya, Teohary, Yadah, and Yessica.
Special thanks to our anonymous $100,000 donor and Herman Miller Cares for matching grant support!
We are pleased that most donors commit for four years and recommit so the program can include an ever-increasing numbers of scholars.
The dream of offering scholarships to motivated students, many the first in their families to attend college, could not happen without the support of our Promise donors:
Dr. John and Monica Arendshort
Dr. Thomas and Rev. Sharon Arendshorst
John and Gwen Bartels
Dr. Dan and Kate Bolt
John and Nancy Bolt
Tom and Jane Bos
Judson and Caddie Bradford
Jim and Donna Brooks
Scott and Amanda Brooks
Eric and Linda Brown
John Canfield and Sharon Dwyer
Christopher and Lorna Cook
Barbara R. Den Herder Family Advised Fund
Dominique and Julie DeNooyer
Marianne Hageman DeNooyer
Nicole DeNooyer and Chris Taylor
Robert DeNooyer Chevrolet, Inc.
Robert DeNooyer II and Colette Volkema DeNooyer
Robert J. DeNooyer Sr.
Kris and Barbara DePree
Marvin and Jerene DeWitt Foundation
Patricia Eldean Trust
Elhart Automotive Campus
David and Nancy Field
Fifth Third Promise Scholarship Fund
Daniel and Mary George
Global Concepts Enterprises, Inc.
Craig and Karen Hall
Don and Jodi Heeringa
Tim and Anne Hemingway
Herman Miller Cares
Dr. Bill and Dr. Maria Hoekstra
Patrick and Jasmine Irish
John and Sally Janssen
Patrick and Jeanne Kellner
Phillip and Lillian Koning
David and Karen Koop
Dan and Jan Koster
Marcia and Richard Lievense
Jim and Sarah Lily
Sam and Jean Martin
Bruce and Carla Masselink
Phillip and Dr. Nancy Miller
Haans and Anita Mulder
Larry and Karen Mulder
Haans and Anita Mulder
Dick and Susan Muzzy
Doug and Nancy Padnos
Holly D. Palmer
Perkins Malo Hunter Foundation
Kathleen Stewart Ponitz
Scott and Gina Prince
Dr. Rey and Kelli Rivera
Paul and Kathy Schoolmeester
Mary Haworth Schregardus
David and Kathie Shellenbarger
Dick and Nancy Shepard
Steve and Laurie Sisson
Craig and Wendy Spoelhoef
Scott and Jan Spoelhoef
Mike and Ann Staed
Charles and Anne Sterken
Robert and Deborah Sterken
Dr. Jim and Dolly Strikwerda
Jim and Carol Stroop
William and Nancy Sturgeon
Elliot and Elaine Tanis
Dave and Linda Thompson
Rolfe and Stacy Timmerman
Steve and Deb Van Heck
Ike and Norma Vande Wege
James and Anna VanderWoude
Varnum LLP/ Attorneys at Law
Hank and Cora Visscher
Michael and Valerie Volkema
N. Jan and Carol Wagner
Brian and Colleen Walker
Greg and Barbara Widener
Joel and Susan Wolfe
Dave and Rashelle Wynegar
Steve and Erin Zylman
List updated 11/2020
MSU grad praises TRIO Upward Bound, Promise Scholarship for success in college and beyond, Rapid Growth Media, September 03, 2020
U-M is next stop for Promise Scholar with a passion for the environment, Rapid Growth Media, August 25, 2020
Community Foundation announces 2020 Promise Scholars, Holland Sentinel, July 25, 2020
Holland/Zeeland Promise Scholarship Helps Kids Attend College Debt-free, Fox 17 Morning Mix, August 15, 2019
Holland, Zeeland Leaders Rally to Support Promise Scholarship Program, MiBiz, September 15, 2018
Holland/Zeeland Community Foundation to 'Grow the Promise' Scholarship, Holland Sentinel, September 14, 2018
Proud Panther, Holland Sentinel, May 31, 2018. Michael is a 2018 Promise Scholar!
Holland-area Nonprofits Host Events, Campaigns for #GivingTuesday, Holland Sentinel, November 28, 2017
Meet Destination Education's New College Advisers, Holland Sentinel, August 20, 2017. Yadah became a Promise Scholar in 2013, graduated from the University of Michigan in 2017 and has returned to work at Holland High School.
Beating the Odds: Holland High Seniors Excel to be First-Generation College Students, Holland Sentinel, April 20, 2017. Freddie and Marita became Promise Scholars in 2017.
Herman Miller Gives to Promise Scholarship, Holland Sentinel, March 22, 2017
Holland/Zeeland Promise Scholarships Show Promise, Holland Sentinel, August 30, 2012
The Holland/Zeeland Promise Helps Disadvantaged, Dedicated Students, Holland Sentinel, September 7, 2011
Three Holland Seniors Get First 'Promise' Scholarships, The Grand Rapids Press, June 8, 2010
Promise candidates are nominated by their high school or Careerline Tech Center counselors or staff at Hope College Trio's Upward Bound Program, Boys and Girls Club of Greater Holland or Latin Americans United for Progress.
Nominated candidates are contacted by the Foundation's Director of Scholarships and given instructions regarding the application and selection process.
Selection is rigorous and based on a range of factors. High financial need, the motivation to achieve the goal of a college or technical degree and strong recommendations are priorities. In addition, most Promise recipients are the first in their families to go to college.