May 21, 2024 – The Rotary Club of Dearborn continued its annual commitment of awarding scholarships to help area students further their education. Notably, the first scholarship was awarded in 1924, only a year after the club was chartered by Rotary International in 1923.

According to Eric Rader, chair of the Dearborn Rotary Foundation, the scholarship program has expanded significantly over the past 100 years to include seven categories. This year, 27 students, including three veterans, received scholarships totaling $73,500.

In early May, Dearborn Rotarians held a special celebration dinner at the Welcome Center of Henry Ford College to honor the 2024 scholarship recipients, highlight their accomplishments, and recognize the support of their families, teachers and staff.

“The students receiving these awards are among the best students throughout the district,” said Dearborn Rotarian Martha Hnatiuk, chair of the scholarship celebration. “This event gave peers and parents an opportunity to witness the amazing potential that exists in our community.”

Scholarships awarded to high school seniors in Dearborn and Henry Ford Early College graduates are in four merit-based categories. Each award category is endowed by or honors a past Dearborn Rotarian, who recognized the importance of education and sought to pay their own success forward by helping outstanding youth with college and vocational expenses. Award amounts range from $2,500 to $9,500.

Shannon Peterson, Dearborn Rotary past president, presented the prestigious Harry A. Sisson Scholarship of $9,500 to Cassian Anderson of Dearborn High School (DHS). While earning a 4.5 grade point average, Anderson served as captain of the girls swim team, president of the school’s Model United Nations, co-founder and secretary of the Nature Preservation Club, vice president of the Creative Writing Club and secretary of the DHS National Honor Society. Anderson’s leadership also extended to community service – attending various conferences and exploring environmental justice in the Dearborn community — advocating for increased pollution regulation enforcement and other pollution mitigation techniques.

Dearborn Rotarian Martha Hnatiuk presented the Hugh Archer Scholarship awards, established in memory of Dearborn resident, who founded the Spiratex Company and also served as Rotary International Director, International General Secretary and International President in 1989-90.   Receiving this year’s awards are Thomas Besek of Dearborn High School and Hiba Obeid of Fordson and Henry Ford College.

Rader, also a Dearborn Rotary past president, presented the Past Presidents Leadership awards to four students who will attend a Michigan college or university. These include Nour Alzerjawi, who attends Henry Ford Early College (HFEC), and three graduating high school seniors – Aya Moughni, Dearborn High School; Asma Saleh, Fordson High School; and Ava Steinhebel, Edsel Ford High School.

Dearborn Rotarian and Past President Lee Hollmann presented the HFC Nursing Scholarship, established in conjunction with the Henry Ford College Foundation. This year, scholarships were awarded to two HFC nursing students – Yasmina Ataya and Lama Bazzi.

Hollmann also presented two of three Archer Veterans Scholarships at the University of Michigan-Dearborn, which were made possible by an endowment funded by the Archer family, Spiratex Corporation, and Dearborn Rotary. Recipients are Vincent Intrieri, and Stacy Peterson. A third Archer Veterans scholarship is awarded to an unnamed veteran referred by the 19th District Court.

The largest scholarship category is the Otto Rowen Vocational Scholarships honoring the memory of former Rotarian, teacher and principal of Dearborn Public Schools (DPS). Dearborn Rotary established the trust fund administered by the Dearborn Rotary Foundation to provide scholarships for DPS students who are the best representatives in their vocational areas as recommended by their instructors. The awards can be used for expenses related to their vocational pursuits.

Dearborn Rotarian Angela Linder presented Otto Rowen awards to 15 students including Nyla Abdulla, Dearborn High School (HS); Zynab Al-Timimi, Henry Ford Early College (HFEC); Ahmad Algaraawi, Edsel Ford HS; Amir Algaraawi, Amir Alkhatib, and Lujain Almawri, Edsel Ford HS; Maram Almuresi, Fordson HS and Michael Berry Career Center (MBCC); Alisha Arshad and Lauren Barkoff, Edsel Ford HS; Mahdi Bazzi, Fordson HS; Ali Beidoun, Dearborn HS and Dearborn Center for Math, Science and Technology (DCMST); Hussein Chukr, HFC – Collegiate Academy; Tiana Itani and Anthony Kociuba, Edsel Ford HS; Alro-Sage Molenda, Dearborn HS; and Khadeja Rizvi, Edsel Ford HS and DCMST.

“These young women and men are highly motivated and hard-working individuals with bright futures ahead of them,” said Rader, “We can all be proud that such talented people have come from this community and will lead it in the future.”

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