from Jim Hoogstra
May is Foster Care Month in Michigan. Since 2015, Judith Borchardt Grants have been given by Northminster to graduating foster care youth who are continuing their post-secondary education. The grants are named after Judy Borchardt, former pastor at Northminster, whose bequest provided seed money for the grants. Less than 20 % of foster youth in Michigan go on to attend college. For those who do, tuition stipends are often available. But what about those things like cell phones, transportation, toiletries, and clothing that are often provided by parents? It is difficult for these youth who are transitioning out of foster care to provide these things for themselves.
This is where the Borchardt grants come in. They provide $1200, basically $100 a month, to help take care of these necessary expenses. Recently, we have received many more applications for grants than we can provide with our limited resources. This year, Session has designated the 40% of Pentecost offerings that can stay with the local congregation to go towards stretching the Borchardt grants that we can provide.
Some of you might remember Justin Black, a recipient of a Borchardt Grant in 2016, from when he joined us in worship to accept the grant. His update on how his life has changed is featured below.
Borchardt Grant Recipient Justin Black Shares His Success
from Jim Hoogstra
In his grant application, Justin talked about being homeless in elementary school and then having several different living situations while in foster care during high school. When he made his grant application, he had lived in a group home for foster youth for 2 years. He spoke of his motivation to "get my life back together and take education seriously."
Justin has now traveled to 12 countries and attended Kyung Hee University for six weeks in South Korea. He is a Resident Assistant and a Study Abroad Alumni Ambassador.
Justin has a 3.41 GPA, majoring in Public Relations, minoring in Journalism, Race & Ethnic Relations, and has earned the following Awards:
“2017 has truly been the best year of my life. I am grateful to have each and every one of you be a part of my journey. I have accomplished more than I could imagine and I know God has even bigger plans for me in the future. From traveling the world to excelling in the classroom, you all have been a part of my success this year! THANK YOU!!!!!”
He has a lot planned for this year, and plans to graduate in 2020 with a degree in Public Relations. To read about his future plans and read the full update he sent, click HERE or see our Mission bulletin board.