MRA announces 2020-21 scholarship winners

MRA’s annual scholarship competition is awarding 24 college students with scholarships totaling $36,000 for the 2020-21 academic year. The awards are funded by the Michigan Retailers Foundation and contributions from MRA members and other donors.

Each of the 24 awards for the 2020-21 academic year are $1,500 scholarships. Each student will be attending a four-year college or university.

For the first time, two scholarships are in memory of Al Kessel, the long-time Michigan grocer and founder of Kessel Food Markets in Saginaw and Flint.

Additional new 2020-21 awards include:

  • The Judy and Rodney Phillips Legacy Scholarship, established by Rod Phillips, owner of Country Casuals in Petoskey;
  • The Brines Family Legacy Scholarship, established by Bo Brines, current MRA Board Vice Chair and president owner of Midland’s Little Forks Outfitters; and
  • A second Kenneth A. and Margaret Schwark Legacy Scholarship.

To be eligible, recipients must be an employee of a MRA member business or the dependent of an owner or employee of a member business. Students apply between January 1 and April 1 each year for the scholarships.

The program’s totals have now reached $577,750 awarded to 575 recipients since 1999, when the current program format began. Scholarship recipients were chosen by a third-party administrator – International Scholarship and Tuition Services.

Information for each student is listed in this order: high school; hometown; award name; business where the student or parent works; business location; college or university; major; and class status.

Alysia Anderson
Petoskey High School, Petoskey
Jean L. Sarasin Legacy Scholarship
North Central Michigan College, Petoskey
Taylor University, Physical Therapy, Freshman






Lauren Aymen
Bad Axe High School, Bad Axe
Helen McCurry Legacy Scholarship
Thumb Broadcasting, Bad Axe
Central Michigan University, Pre-Med/Neuroscience, Junior






Sandyn Cuthrell
Cass City High School, Cass City
Nathan Rosenfeld Legacy Scholarship
List Psychological, Caro
Central Michigan University, Actuarial Sciences, Freshman






Lourena De Abreu
Washtenaw Technical Middle College, Ann Arbor
Walsh Family Legacy Scholarship
The M-Den, Ann Arbor
Loyola University, Forensic Science, Freshman





Nicole Drummond
Catholic Central High School, Holland
Raymond A. and Mildred C. Sobelton Platinum Legacy Scholarship
Drummond Marine, Holland
Saint Mary’s College, Economics, Sophomore





Jacob Flickinger
Home-schooled, Grand Rapids
Al Kessel Memorial Scholarship
Meijer, Grand Rapids
Grand Valley State University, Criminal Justice & Law Enforcement, Freshman





Michael Flickinger
Home-schooled, Grand Rapids
Paul M. Felice Memorial Scholarship
Meijer, Grand Rapids
Grand Valley State University, Mechanical Engineering, Senior





Mason Gabriel
Orchard View High School, Muskegon
Paul M. Felice Memorial Scholarship
Orchard Markets, Spring Lake
Grand Valley State University, Science Education, Junior





Christopher Garbe
Bay City Western High School, Kawkawlin
Al Kessel Memorial Scholarship
Meijer, Bay City
Grand Valley State University, Biology, Junior





Gillian Gardner
Maple City-Glen Lake High School, Empire
Linda Mayleben Legacy Scholarship
Glen Lake Marina, Empire
Grand Valley State University, Education, Freshman





Marin Hoffman
Harbor Springs High School, Harbor Springs
Thomas Ungrodt Legacy Scholarship
Bayside Family and Sports Medicine, Petoskey
Northern Michigan University, Law or Pre-Law, Junior





Erica Hofman
Grandville Calvin Christian High School, Grandville
Barb Stein Legacy Scholarship
Mieras Family Shoes, Grand Rapids
Hope College, Nursing, Junior





Kathryn Hull
Will Carleton Charter School Academy, North Adams
Willis W. and Mary Jane Marshall Memorial Legacy Scholarship
Hillsdale County Agriculture Society, Hillsdale
Michigan State University, Education, Senior





Sydney Lazarek
Roosevelt High School, Wyandotte
Target Corporation Platinum Legacy Scholarship
Target, Taylor
Grand Valley State University, Special Education, Freshman





Danielle Nowak
Brecksville-Broadview Heights High School, Brecksville, Ohio
Mark Schrag Legacy Scholarship
Oliver Printing and Packaging, Twinsburg, Ohio
Ohio State University, Marketing, Sophomore





Abigail Owens
Mattawan High School, Kalamazoo
Kenneth A. and Margaret Schwark Legacy Scholarship
Consumer Credit Union, Kalamazoo
Michigan State University, Finance, Freshman





Bridget Owens
Mattawan High School, Kalamazoo
Joseph Swanson Platinum Legacy Scholarship
Consumer Credit Union, Kalamazoo
Michigan State University, Nursing, Junior





Payton Peltomaa
Okemos High School. Okemos
Orin and Tina Mazzoni and Family Legacy Scholarship
Doggy Daycare and Spa, Okemos
Grand Valley State University, Advertising/Public Relations, Sophomore





Dana Pierangeli
Eastern High School, Grand Rapids
Fred and Lillian Sherman Legacy Scholarship
McDonald Pierangeli Macfarlane, PLLC, Grand Rapids
University of Michigan, English, Junior





Kyle Rambo
Marquette High School, Marquette
Larry Sherman Legacy Scholarship
Catholic Social Services, Marquette
Saginaw Valley State University, Finance, Sophomore





Jeffrey Roberts
Crestwood High School, Dearborn Heights
William J. Hallan MRA President and CEO Legacy Scholarship
The M-Den, Ann Arbor
Central Michigan University, Communications, Junior





Keegan Rumler
Jackson High School, Jackson
Kenneth A. and Margaret Schwark Legacy Scholarship
P & T Fitness, Jackson
Michigan State University, Kinesiology, Junior





Madison Skop
Boyne City High School, Boyne Falls
Judy and Rodney Phillips Legacy Scholarship
Country Casuals, Petoskey
Central Michigan University, Graphic Design, Senior





Allison Stevens
Midland High School, Midland
Brines Family Legacy Scholarship
Gill-Roys Hardware, Midland
Alma College, Senior High Education, Junior





For more information and to request photos of students, email MRA’s Rachel Schrauben at