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Kent Companies Awards Six Make it Happen Scholarships to Kent Employees’ Children

5ba96538f97bdb4089c3e87f57d71a96_f652[GRAND RAPIDS, MI] – Kent Companies, Inc. announced the award of Make it Happenscholarships to the children of six Kent Companies employees in April 2016.

  • Ana Arvizu-Mata, Western Michigan University
  • Mara Frazier, Texas Tech University
  • Baleigh French, Grand Valley State University
  • Kendall Garland, Michigan State University
  • Julia Jesko, Grand Valley State University
  • Lizet Guzman Navarrete, Southwestern University

“We are extremely impressed by all of the students who submitted applications,” said Kent Companies CEO Jeff VanderLaan. “They demonstrated serious commitment to their academic endeavors as well as the willingness to serve their communities in leadership and volunteer roles.”

The Make it Happen Scholarship Program fulfills the Kent Companies mission to invest in its people and the community. “We call ourselves the ‘Kent family,’” VanderLaan continued. “Our employees are highly committed to our team. We know their families provide tremendous support that helps them to be successful on the job. It is an honor to give back to the Kent family by investing in their students’ continuing education.”

Kent Companies Vice President Chris Fennema serves as the chairperson of the Make it Happen Scholarship Committee. “This year we received a highly competitive pool of applications from students across the country. Each student displayed extraordinary commitment  to advancing his or her career by attending trade school or a college or university. The six scholarship recipients demonstrated truly stand-out achievements in their academics, service to the community and essays about their career goals.” Fennema continued, “We know these students are committed to continuous self-improvement and to building a stronger community.”

The Make it Happen Scholarship Program is available to the dependent children of full time Kent Companies employees. Applicants must be under the age of 26; must be enrolled full time in a college, university or technical/trade school; and must maintain a 3.0 grade point average. The application process involves the submission of essays, recommendation letters, official transcripts and in some cases, in-person interviews with the Kent Companies scholarship committee.

About the Make it Happen Scholarship Recipients:

Ana Arvizu-Mata is the daughter of Jose Arvizu, a member of the concrete division in Grand Rapids, Michigan. Ana is a rising senior at Western Michigan University. She serves as a  residence hall advisor. She is an active volunteer in the Kalamazoo community and spends time mentoring at-risk high school students. Following graduation, she plans to pursue a law degree.

Mara Frazier is the daughter of Fred Frazier, a flatwork superintendent in Dallas, Texas. Mara graduated from Pantego Christian Academy in Arlington, Texas in 2014. She is currently a junior at Texas Tech University and is pursuing a Bachelor of Science in Exercise and Sports Sciences. Her goal is to become a Physical Therapist. Mara serves as a lead counselor at a Christian summer camp where she is responsible for the activities of four to six junior counselors as well as 25-30 children each day.

Baleigh French is the daughter of Jeff French, Division Manager for Kent Home Services in Grand Rapids, Michigan. Baleigh is a rising freshman at Grand Valley State University. She is an active participant in her school’s volleyball, track, cross country and softball teams as well as YoungLife. Baleigh will graduate from Kenowa Hills High School in June 2016 and plans to pursue studies in a pre-medical program.

Kendall Garland is the daughter of Michael Garland, a foreman in Grand Rapids, Michigan. Kendall is a rising freshman at Michigan State University and plans to pursue a pre-veterinary program. Kendall has served in numerous volunteer roles for the Humane Society, 5/3rd River Run, vacation bible school and tutoring programs. Kendall will graduate from Grand River Preparatory High School in June 2016.

Julia Jesko is the daughter of Chris Jesko, a superintendent in Grand Rapids, Michigan. She plans to attend Grand Valley State University to pursue a double major in German and French language studies. Her long-term goal is to acquire a fourth language and complete a doctoral degree. Julia will graduate from Rockford High School in June 2016.

Lizet Guzman Navarrete is the daughter of Cecilio Guzman, a member of the commercial concrete division in Dallas, Texas. Lizet is a rising freshman at Southwestern University. She is highly involved in athletics and volunteers in local elementary schools and at Baylor Hospital. Lizet will graduate from Uplift Peak Preparatory School in May 2016 and plans to pursue studies in occupational therapy.