Sarah Scopas has always wanted to work in the medical field. Now the Utica Academy for International Studies senior will begin studying biology and physician assistant courses at the University of Detroit Mercy, with the help of a local scholarship.
Scopas is one of 20 college-bound students to benefit from scholarships totaling $20,000, awarded last week by the Sterling Heights Area Community Foundation and its sponsoring partners. Scopas has been active in her community through sports, language and medical clubs, as well as working as a volunteer at local hospitals, and her $1000 scholarship comes from the Rotary Club of Sterling Heights.
"I am so incredibly delighted and grateful," said Scopas. "I enjoy interacting with and helping others, so I feel as though this career path is the perfect fit for me."
Dr. Martin Brown, president of the Sterling Heights Area Community Foundation and Rotary member, says his club's scholarship, which also went to Sterling Heights High School student Simon Momeyer, is well-deserved.
"Both of this year's Rotary scholarship recipients are exceptional, being academically strong in addition to their devotion to community service in hospitals, schools, senior centers, churches and various charitable organizations," Brown said.
Sterling Heights resident Caitlin Tremucha also earned a $1000 scholarship from General Dynamics Land Systems and wants to study biochemistry. The International Academy of Macomb student will attend Wayne State University and said she is glad she is able to help her parents contribute to her college tuition.
"I have always been inspired by my parents and my older sister working in healthcare as nurses," Tremucha said, "which has been accentuated by their courage and determination during these difficult times."
The community foundation began awarding scholarships in 1999 to area youth pursuing degrees in higher education or vocational training and has awarded a total of $411,000 in scholarships to 461 students.
The organizations awarding scholarships in 2020 include BAE Systems, General Dynamics Land Systems, Macomb County Chiropractic Association, former Mayor Richard J. Notte endowment for government public service, Ronald Himmler Science Scholarship, Rotary Club of Sterling Heights, the Selfridge Air National Guard Base Community Council, Sterling Heights Area Community Foundation and Vibe Credit Union.
Foundation executive director Karl G. Oskoian says the scholarship program partners, and the group's 26 endowment funds, make a difference in the lives of not only the students but in the community at large.
"We are fortunate to have companies and businesses like our scholarship partners come forward and make a difference in the lives of these deserving young students,” Oskoian said.