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$44,000 in scholarships awarded to 18 students, seven career mentors honored for their dedication, and all of our annual sponsors recognized for their generous support

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2023 Awards Celebration Student photo

We held our 29th Annual Awards Celebration on June 6, 2023, at Club Venetian in Madison Heights, and awarded $44,000 in scholarships to 18 students from our Workforce Prep program. We also honored seven career mentors for their five or ten year volunteer anniversary and recognized all of our sponsors for their generous support.  

250 guests including students and their family members, career mentors, educators from our partner schools, members of our Board of Directors, and annual sponsors came together to celebrate and recognize each of our scholarship recipients. The program was led by Scott Rice, president and COO of POWERLINK Healthcare Support Services and chair of our Board of Directors, Kris Marshall, our president & CEO, and Bryan Howard, our director of programs. 

See photos from the celebration 

The scholarships are awarded annually to students who are in our Workforce Prep program. The selection process is competitive and based on the student’s applications, essays, and interviews. Applications are judged by volunteers from the business community. Funds may be used for continuing education expenses.  

Usually, we award $1,000 to $2,000 to each student. However, this year, our President and CEO, Kristina Marshall, made a surprise donation at the event in honor of her 25th anniversary with Winning Futures. Each student was awarded an additional $1,000 raising the overall awards to $2,000 to $3,000 per student. 

Named in honor of our founder, Sam Cupp, and his mentor, Gene Hamilton, our Winning Futures Cupp-Hamilton Scholarship is awarded to current high school students in our 11th or 12th grade (years one through three of Workforce Prep program). This year’s recipients are: 

Cass Technical High School, Detroit 

Community High School, Sterling Heights 

Harper Woods High School, Harper Woods 

Warren Mott High School, Warren 

Reagan Cohen also received the Melvin Akins Memorial Scholarship this year. Named after a Winning Futures alum who tragically died in an auto accident, our Winning Futures Melvin Akins Memorial Scholarship was established by Melvin’s former mentor at Warren Mott High School, Kevin Sutton, and his wife Lauren. The scholarship recognizes one student who embodies Melvin’s positive attitude and drive for success and demonstrates relentless effort to overcome obstacles.  

“Winning Futures has helped me build connections and learn strategies that I will take with me into adulthood. I hope to one day return and become a mentor myself so I can make an impact on high school students,” said Reagan.  

Our Alumni Scholarship is available to former high school students who are now enrolled in college, trade school, apprenticeship, or other continuing education courses, and currently in the Winning Futures College Success Mentoring program. The recipients are: 

  • Rabika Ali, Wayne State University, Cass Technical High School 
  • Nia Coleman, Michigan State University, Cass Technical High School 
  • Amaya Davis, Macomb Community College, Warren Mott High School 
  • Joshua Hudson, University of Michigan, Harper Woods High School 
  • Carmella Kern, Oakland University, Harper Woods High School 
  • Kayla Lewis, Michigan State University, Harper Woods High School 
  • Adib Mahdiath, University of Michigan, Cass Technical High School 
  • Sha’Niya Simmons, Wayne State University, Cass Technical High School 
  • Jessica Taylor, Oakland Community College, Madison High School 

In addition to celebrating our students, we recognized career mentors who have reached their five-year and ten-year anniversary with us. We are grateful to have mentors who commit to working with our students year after year. 

Five Year Career Mentor Awards: 

  • Beverly Maddox, BFM Consulting Group, Principal Consultant 
  • Stephen Ross, Lear Corporation, Program Manager 
  • Chad Toms, Reliance One, Vice President of Sales & Strategic Accounts 
  • Benny Vann, BCS Automotive Interface Solutions, Sr. Engineering Manager 

Ten Year Career Mentor Awards: 

  • Charles Johnson, Developing K.I.D.S, Chairman of the Board 
  • Besima Mello, Ally Financial, Treasury Manager 
  • Andrea Spade, Kelly Services, Business Enablement Strategist, Professional Industrial 

Thank you to everyone who came out to celebrate the success of our students. With the help of our sponsors, partners, career mentors, and schools, we can help high school students feel empowered about their futures. If you are thinking about becoming a career mentor for the 2023-2024 school year, you can apply online today.