By Kenya Davis aka Mistress Belladonna
The Michigan Pagan Scholarship fund is once again accepting applications from hopeful high school students who identify as Pagan. Last year at the Pagan Picnic, they gave away their first $500 Scholarship to Miranda Owens. Their goal is to give away $2,000 a year. And unlike many other kinds of scholarships, Miranda can actually apply to renew her scholarship if she maintains a 2.4 GPA and is continuing her education. The organization is now gearing up for 2015.
Your friendly neighborhood Detroit Paganism Examiner had the unique honor to get some history from the driving force championing its existence, Gordon Ireland. Those in the Michigan Pagan Community know this name very well. So, take a spell and to sit and read the story of the scholarship straight from the person who knows it best.
So without further introduction, here is the history.
A little history behind the Michigan Pagan Scholarship Fund. After the Announcement that Tempest Smith Foundation was closing it’s doors. Paula and Myself (who have been donating to their college fund for years) decided that it needed to continue. We knew we needed help to make it work, as the Witches’ ball only has so much money available to donate. The first thing we did was contact an established Church, requested some information (IE to make this work legally needed and incorporated organization and 501(c)3) They passed on providing the information.
The next biggest established organization was Witches of Michigan, so we contacted Merlyn and as his daughter, Gerry Leonard who is also a committee member of the Witches’ Ball, made thing a little easier. WOM (Witches of Michigan) is not legal established Church. However that has always been the goal. Paula and I decided to assist Gerry Leonard in establishing her church Universal Society of Ancient Ministry and in the process giving the Michigan Pagan Scholarship fund a home and someone to be the face of the college fund.
The next step was insuring a steady income for the scholarship fund. The Witches ball promised a minimum of 500 a year. Plus the Witches Ball also holds a 50/50 raffle during the Ball to raise money for the College fund second prize is the Balls altar. (Which this year is being donating by The Great Lakes Witches Council) The Magical Education Council (the find people who host Convocation, Beyond the Veil and the Pagan Picnic) also promised 500 a year. Pagan Pride Detroit also promised all proceeds from their annual raffle.
We also have local stores that have donation boxes for the College fund. Mystic Moon, CandleWick Shop, Crystal Pathways, Mama Tracy’s and Gemini Moon. Last year at the Pagan Picnic, we gave away our first $500 Scholarship to Miranda Owens.
Our Goal is to give away $2,000 a year. As last year’s winner can apply to renew their scholarship if they maintain a 2.5 GPA and are continuing their education. We are now accepting applications for 2015. Michigan Pagan Scholarship Fund is offering a $500.00 Pagan College Scholarship for a rising high school senior, undergraduate, or graduate. All applicants must
- live in Michigan
- be 17 years of age or older
- have a current GPA of 2.50 or higher
- be Pagan, and currently accepted in a full time course of study in any accredited four-year college or university.
Applicants must provide their most recent school transcript to establish state of residency, and GPA requirements. In addition they must also state the reason for applying for this scholarship in 250 words or less and submit a 500 word essay about what being a Pagan means to them.
This is a big deal, readers. This can mean the difference in a young person’s life that will allow them to pay for books, classes, and other things to enable them to pursue their dreams. And you do not have to be in Michigan to help. All those readers who this touches, in all areas, can donate to this fund at http://pagancollegescholarship.org/. It is tax deductible, and the right thing to do.
Help someone explore their destiny. That destiny could be a part of your own. A ripple of kindness goes on forever.
For those who would like to keep up to date on some of the best that Michigan Paganism has to offer insofar as insights and information, you might want to check out http://pagancollegescholarship.org/