The Wildcat Roar

The Student News Site of Novi High School

The Wildcat Roar

The Wildcat Roar

Meet your local scholarship recipients!

This year’s local scholarship application cycle has come to a close, with 33 recipients being awarded scholarships.


Scholarships are provided by various organizations and businesses, including parent-teacher organizations from each of the elementary schools in the district, the Novi Educational Foundation, and the Novi Athletic Boosters, to name a few.


The application process for these scholarships varied. However, they all required a general application that asked students to describe their chief personal strengths as well as extracurricular and community involvement.


“The application process is very simple. There is a Schoology course created for local scholarships where students see a full list of local scholarships available.


There is a standard application template that students fill out and are then able to submit to each scholarship they’d like to apply for. Some scholarships require an additional application form, letters of recommendation, or essay,” counselor and local scholarship coordinator Kathryn Keszei said. “Students then submit their copy of the application along with any required supplemental material to each scholarship’s respective folder. Students are also required to turn in their copy of the “Local Scholarship Checklist” and any letters of recommendation to the counseling secretary, Ms. Alex, by the deadline.”


This year’s application cycle saw 262 applications submitted across 72 applicants. On April 1, recipients were sent Ehallpasses to go to Student Services during advisory. There, they were surprised with the news that they would be receiving scholarships. Seniors were then asked to write thank you cards to the organizations awarding them scholarships.


“Students interested in applying to local scholarships in the future can access the list of local scholarships via this spreadsheet: 2024 Local Scholarship Descriptions-Criteria. This way, students can become familiar with the scholarships that are available. This list is subject to change each year,” Keszei said.


This year’s recipients will be honored at a breakfast on Tuesday, April 23, 2024. Read a bit more about some of them in the attached gallery.


Local Scholarship Recipients Gallery
Mina Chung

“I was surprised, because there's been a pattern of two orchestra booster scholarships, but they shortened it down to one, and so that shocked me and it scared me. I didn't even know I had won until I even went to the counseling office. I was very surprised because I didn't know if I was really qualified to actually win the scholarship.”


Chung was awarded the Orchestra Boosters Scholarship for her involvement in the Philharmonic Orchestra as a violinist.


“The majority of my high school career, I've spent it with the orchestra. Orchestra’s been a part of my life for a long, long time, and so I thought it'd be very meaningful if I won this scholarship.”


Chung is committed to the University of Michigan and plans to major in movement science. She also plans to join the Michigan Pops Orchestra to continue her musical path as a hobby.

Lillian Gnatek

“I was really excited because honestly, I didn't think I'd get any (scholarships). So it was kind of shocking and I was really excited.”


Gnatek was awarded the Class of 2008 Memorial Scholarship. The Class of 2008 Scholarship is intended to “positively impact a student who has been affected by substance abuse or aspires to reduce the impact of addiction within their community,” and required applicants to write a 250-word essay on how they’ve been impacted by or hope to reduce the effects of addiction. Gnatek applied because she hopes to work with at-risk teens in a big city area after college. She is committed to Northern Michigan University to study psychology and social work, and hopes to get her master’s degree after completing her bachelor’s.

Mia Hamdan

“I was very grateful, because you know, any money helps towards tuition and schooling. Also, I was honored to be awarded it because it's in memory of Nancy Okray.”


Hamdan was awarded the Novi Youth Assistance/Nancy Okray Memorial Scholarship. The Nancy Okray Memorial Scholarship is awarded based on both financial need and commitment to community involvement.


Hamdan intends to major in advertising management and minor in communicative sciences and disorders at Michigan State University.

Sethmi Madawala

“I was definitely happy. I didn't expect it.”


Madawala received the David Langham Memorial Scholarship. The David Langham Memorial Scholarship is awarded to students who have been active in a band program for four years, and applicants had to write a 250-word essay on how participation in band has contributed to their personal development. Madawala felt she could excel as an applicant because she has stayed academically successful while being an immigrant.


“Because I was also an immigrant from Sri Lanka and coming to America, it was hard for me to adapt to a lot of things here in American high schools. So, I think the fact that I was able to be academically successful while also handling a lot of stuff like clubs, sports, and also moving in; I thought that I could be a potential candidate for the scholarship.”


Madawala is active in HOSA and is also a varsity track and field athlete. She intends to attend medical school and major in neuroscience, however she hasn’t committed yet. She is considering attending Michigan State University’s Lyman Briggs College.

Saniya Reddy

“I'm so grateful, obviously, because any money that I can get could help me reduce the chances of me going into student debt and that is something that's huge for both me and my family.”


Reddy was awarded the Darlene Ephraim Ascension Providence Scholarship. The Darlene Ephraim Scholarship is intended for students pursuing careers in the medical field and required the student to be enrolled in the Medical Career Explorations course and write a 500-word personal statement “exemplifying what will make you a unique and contributing member of the medical field.” Reddy will be pursuing biology and kinesiology on the pre-med track at the University of Michigan next year.

Milan Thurman

“You should’ve seen me in the room. I was beaming a lot, because it's just like, I had known about the scholarship before I really understood the concept of a scholarship–I've known about it for years. That was always my goal, was like, to get that. It was also like a surprise, like, we didn't know what we were walking into. We walked into the room and everyone's just in a line. She (Christina Alex) hands me a paper and it says V.O.I.C.E. and I was like, ‘Oh, yay!’ So I sat down and wrote a really long thank you letter. And I was like, happy.” 


Thurman was awarded the Village Oaks PTO (V.O.I.C.E.) Scholarship. This scholarship is awarded to one graduating senior who attended Village Oaks Elementary School for at least two years. In addition to the general application, students were required to submit a PTO Supplemental form.


“I just feel like a really special connection to that place. You know, like, all my siblings went there. I'm back there all the time for any number of reasons and every time I'm there, it just feels like home,” Thurman said.


Thurman is committed to the University of Michigan to study business, which, he jokes, is a cover for undecided.

Jenny Yin

“It was actually really funny, because Milan Thurman and I were in AA together since we have our Stuco AA, and then I was really confused because I got this Ehallpass to go to Student Services without like anything else, and I was like, ‘Am I in trouble?’ But Milan also got the email, so we went down together and Ms. Alex was just like, ‘Oh, yeah, congrats! You got the scholarship.’ So we were both pretty happy about that.”


Yin received the Parkview PTO Alumni and Joseph Imrick Scholarship. This scholarship is awarded to one graduating senior who attended Parkview Elementary School for at least two years. In addition to the general application, students were required to submit a PTO Supplemental form. Yin went to Parkview from kindergarten through fourth grade, and her siblings also attended.


“Parkview’s just been like a huge part of my family's life. I just think it’s a really great thing that like the elementary schools are doing to help support the community.”


Yin is also a part of Novi’s figure skating team and applied for the Novi Athletic Boosters’ Scholarship. She is committed to the University of Michigan and will major in biopsychology, cognition, and neuroscience and minor in gender and health studies with the intent to be a pediatric endocrinologist.

Leave a Comment
More to Discover
About the Contributor
Arieis Feldpausch
Arieis Feldpausch, Editor in Chief
Arieis “A” Feldpausch is a senior. This is her third year on staff. In her free time, Arieis enjoys indie folk music (specifically The Mountain Goats), rollerblading and roller derby, playing guitar, and writing poetry. You can email her with story ideas at [email protected] or [email protected] 
Donate to The Wildcat Roar

Comments (0)

All The Wildcat Roar Picks Reader Picks Sort: Newest

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *