Community Foundation Holland/Zeeland

Have questions?

Contact Stacy Timmerman, Director of Scholarships, at 616-994-8852 or via email.

Holland/Zeeland Promise Scholarship

What Makes the Holland/Zeeland Promise Unique?

  • It’s a last-dollar scholarship which means that after other grants and scholarships have been applied, we cover the remaining cost of tuition, books, room, and board. Our goal is for students to graduate debt free or as debt free as possible. 
  • Unlike many other scholarships, the Promise is renewable for additional undergraduate years, dependent on students remaining in good academic standing and making progress toward their degrees. 
  • The Promise offers a side-by-side approach, addressing not only financial needs, but also academic and socio-emotional needs.  We check in with students monthly to see how they are handling classes and life at school and connect them with campus resources. Extra support is provided through local partnerships: mental health counseling is available through Mosaic Counseling (formerly TCM Counseling) and career coaching is provided through Thompson MTEC.
  • The program encourages peer mentoring by bringing students together at an annual summer gathering.
  • To date the Promise boasts a 94 percent graduation rate in comparison to a national average graduation rate of 56 percent (National Student Clearinghouse).
  •  Many Promise graduates return to our community to live, work, and give back.
  • Many donors make a four-year pledge, their "promise" to see scholars all the way through to graduation.

We hope you will help send local scholars to college or technical school by becoming a donor today.




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 ProgramBoys 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, and Xitali

2019: Alexia, Alicia, Alyssa, Andy, Diana, Jaden, Jazmin, Katelyn, Isaac, and Truc

2018: Anna, Eliseo, Elizabeth, Graciela, Ivonne, Karen, Lesly, Lydia, Melissa, Michael, Nancy, and Taliah

2017: Arely, Freddie, Marita, Micah, and Taylor W.

2016: Ivan and Srey

list updated 12/2020 


Recent graduate, Tanya, celebrating her achievement. (Photo used with permission)

Congratulations to the Promise's most recent graduates, Marisol and Taylor K.

Marisol and Taylor join Promise graduates: Allison, Andrew, Courtney, Cynthia, Dave, David, Diana G., Diana H., Edgar, Eric, Jennifer, Julian, Kariana, Laura, Lily, Michael, Nhi, Priscilla, Rodrigo, Rogelio,  Tanya, Teohary, Yadah, and Yessica.

list updated 12/2020 


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

Chris Bart

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

Leslie 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

Moira Donnelly

EBW Electronics

Patricia Eldean Trust

Elhart Automotive Campus 

Jacob Essenburg

Marlin Feyen and Ruth Posthumus

David and Nancy Field

Fifth Third Promise Scholarship Fund 

Foundation 180

Daniel and Mary George

Global Concepts Enterprises, Inc.

Craig and Karen Hall

Thomas Harsevoort 

Don and Jodi Heeringa

Heidi Huizenga

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

Catherine Matthews

Sandra McParlan

Phillip and Dr. Nancy Miller

Timothy Moore

Haans and Anita Mulder

Larry and Karen Mulder

Haans and Anita Mulder

Dick and Susan Muzzy

Oakspring Fund

Doug and Nancy Padnos

Holly D. Palmer

Perkins Malo Hunter Foundation

Kathleen Stewart Ponitz

Scott and Gina Prince

Dr. Rey and Kelli Rivera

Melanie Scholten

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

Ted VandenBrink

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 12/2020

In the News

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-freeFox 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

Application Process

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.

Share this page

85 East 8th Street, Suite 110, Holland, MI 49423   (616) 396-6590   Email us