Bay Commitment Students: Hope for the Future

Scholarship Fund Switches to Support Bay Commitment

For more than 20 years, Frank Mandley has been on the committee to help recommend a student to receive a scholarship from the Warren F. and Ruth P. Mandley Memorial Educational Fund, a fund Frank created in 1996 to honor his parents and support local education.

While he and his family have enjoyed serving on the committee, they felt it was time for a change. At the end of 2019, Frank chose to redirect the funds to support Bay Area Community Foundation’s Bay Commitment Scholarship Program for first-generation college students attending Saginaw Valley State University or Delta College.

Now the Warren F. and Ruth P. Mandley Memorial Educational Fund supports one student each year with a $2,000 scholarship. This year, Ledonna Husband was the recipient.

Frank says he greatly values his education and wants to help Bay County students receive the same opportunities. Although Frank now lives in Florida where he has spent most of his life, he’s never forgotten his roots.

“You don’t break your link to where you grew up,” he said. “Bay City is where I got my start, and that’s where I want to put my support.”

In deciding to transition his fund to support Bay Commitment, he said he really liked how the scholarship helps needs-based students and encourages them to go to college locally, making the scholarship assistance go even further. He also liked that converting his fund allowed the scholarship to award at a higher amount.

“I don’t have children or grandchildren, so I might as well use my money to do somebody some good,” he said.

From Ledonna Husband on Starting College During COVID

“This year has been devastating, but I am still motivated to go to college and plan a better future. COVID-19 has changed my life in many unexpected ways. I’m guessing we could all say that at this point. But somehow, starting college this fall doesn’t scare me; I actually feel like I am more ready to begin my life. For a moment during quarantine, I lost hope: I didn’t see a reason to invest in a future that seemed so arbitrary. But luckily, I learned that life is like a game: anything can pop up and ruin everything you have going (like COVID), or everything could go as planned. I made a decision to play the game and do my best. I don’t ever want to say I didn’t try.

I am a first-generation college student, attending Saginaw Valley State University this fall. I would say being the first in the family is hard, but I don’t know anything else to compare it to. What I will say is that being the first in the family has been a blessing to me. I’ve been chosen as a recipient of the Bay Commitment Scholarship, which is specifically for first-generation students. Not having to worry about coming up with money for books and other fees makes a huge difference for me. I will be able to dedicate most of my time towards school instead of trying to juggle a full-time job to pay for it.

I will be studying occupational therapy, and I would like to work as a holistic occupational therapist a few years after graduation. All in all, I am excited to start my classes.”

2020 is the year to be bold. To offer inspiration on acts of boldness, we are sharing stories all year of those in the Bay Area who have taken action . . . of those who have dared to make a difference . . . and of those who took a risk. Know someone like this? Use our quick form to let us know so we can share their story.


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