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Last week, our Foundation, alongside Midland Area Community Foundation and Saginaw Community Foundation, awarded the Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Regional Scholarship to outstanding high school seniors who have demonstrated Dr. King's teachings. Bay County students who received the scholarship include Marisa Carroll, Ashlyn Nagel, Isabella Nowak, Sophie Suchodolski, and Delaney Wesolek.

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Prior to the event, they were able to meet the celebration's keynote speaker, Dr. Ruth D. Jones.

Bay County Recipients of 2020 MLK Scholarship with Dr. Ruth D. Jones

Dr. Jones is the Branch Chief for Industrial Safety Branch at NASA/Marshall Space Flight Center in Huntsville, Alabama. She became the first woman to receive a bachelor's degree in physics from the University of Arkansas at Pine Bluff in 1994. Six years later, she was the second African-American woman to earn a Ph.D. in physics in the state of Alabama. In her career, Jones thrived in an industry where professionals rarely looked like her. Many of her peers are male, and most are white.

Lauded as one of NASA's Modern Figures, Jones travels the nation as a motivational speaker in hopes of inspiring youth to seek career in the science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM) fields. She also wants to serve as a role model for other women and minorities.

Dr. Ruth D. Jones of NASA at MLK Celebration

In addition to the keynote speaker and scholarship awards, three community members were honored with the 6th Annual Drum Major Award. Selection of award recipients is based on nominees who selflessly perform daily acts of service to make their community, and our world, a better place. We are honored to have presented the Bay County award to Carolyn Wierda and are thankful for her service to our area.

Carolyn Wierda Accepting Drum Major Award at SVSU

Thank you to all of the community partners that helped make this event a success. We are proud of our scholarship students and wish them the best of luck in their future endeavors.

Photos are courtesy of Tim Inman, Saginaw Valley State University.