WARREN – Twenty local high school students will receive scholarships totaling $30,000 and 20 volunteer mentors will be recognized for their outstanding dedication and service at the Winning Futures Awards Celebration, June 7 at the Venetian Club in Madison Heights. Attendance is by invitation only.

Winning Futures empowers youth to succeed through in-class mentoring, strategic planning, and workforce preparation. Since its creation in 1994, the program has helped more than 47,000 local high school students develop the knowledge, confidence, and skills necessary to be self-reliant, employable, and productive adults.

The Cupp-Hamilton Scholarship was established in 1995 by local entrepreneur, Sam Cupp, who founded Winning Futures. The scholarship recognizes local junior and senior high school students who are enrolled in the Winning Futures Life Skills and Career Readiness mentoring program. These students demonstrated excellence in developing realistic and detailed education and career plans. Since its inception, the scholarship has awarded more than $1.9 million to more than 600 students.

This year’s Cupp-Hamilton Scholarship recipients include high school students from: Cass Technical High School (Detroit, MI), Community High School (Sterling Heights, MI), Cornerstone Health + Technology High School (Detroit, MI), Harper Woods High School (Harper Woods, MI), Madison High School (Madison Heights, MI), Pontiac Academy for Excellence (Pontiac, MI), and Warren Mott High School (Warren, MI).

“These students worked very hard this past school year, thinking about their future, establishing goals, and working with their mentors to develop career plans,” said Kristina Marshall, president and CEO of Winning Futures. “In keeping with Sam’s original wishes, these scholarships will go a long way in helping these students achieve success.”

Seven local business professionals will be recognized as “Mentors of the Year” for their exemplary service and dedication. Nominated by the students they mentored, these volunteers spent at least one hour since October, meeting with three to four students each. They provided the guidance and support those students needed to see a path to a purposeful career and assisted in creating a map to get there. This year’s “Mentor of the Year” recipients are:

  • Pat Powell (Eastpointe, MI), Principal Account Manager, retired, DTE Energy, Harper Woods High School
  • Jessica Jeffery (Birmingham, MI), Senior Environmental Engineer, General Motors, Warren Mott High School
  • Willie Davis (Farmington Hills, MI), Senior Regional Leader, Primerica Financial Services, Cass Technical High School
  • Senthil Vivekanandan (Novi, MI), Accounting Director, Lear Corporation, Cornerstone Health + Technology High School
  • Stephen Hatfield (Auburn Hills, MI), Technician, Fiat Chrysler Automobiles, Pontiac Academy for Excellence
  • Dan Hubbard (Mount Clemens, MI), Senior Business Analyst, Flagstar Bank, Community High School
  • Bob Foyt (Shelby Township, MI), retired, JHP Pharmaceuticals, Madison High School

Lee Ellen Kerr (Goodrich, MI), retired sales director from Dow Automotive in Auburn Hills, will be recognized for receiving the prestigious 2018 Governor’s Service Award as Mentor of the Year from The Michigan Community Service Commission. Lee started mentoring in 2014 at Pontiac Academy for Excellence.

Dave Fernholz (Warren, MI), plant manager at Fitzpatrick Manufacturing in Sterling Heights, will receive the “20 year – Anniversary Mentoring” award. Dave began mentoring in 1998 at Community High School and has been a regular every year since. More than 80 students have benefited from Dave’s help and support.

Eleven local professionals are being recognized for their fifth anniversary as a volunteer mentor with Winning Futures. These mentors are:

  • Jessica Jeffery (Birmingham, MI), Senior Environmental Engineer, General Motors, Warren Mott High School            
  • Todd Ledingham (Royal Oak, MI), Process Leader in Order Fulfillment, General Motors, Harper Woods High School
  • Besima Mello (Canton, MI), Senior Financial Analyst, Ally Financial, Inc., Cass Technical High School       
  • John Dolan (Auburn Hills, MI), Director – Large Vehicle Architecture, Fiat Chrysler Automobiles, Cass Technical High School
  • David Wahl (Southfield, MI), Controller, retired, Huron Clinton Metroparks, Cornerstone Health + Technology High School
  • Krystn Clark (Rochester, MI), Employee Benefit Sales Producer, Brown & Brown of Detroit, Community High School              
  • Michael Kozan (Berkley, MI), Purchasing Supervisor, General Motors, Madison High School
  • Jason Gordon (Warren, MI), National Manager CPCU, Allied Universal, Warren Mott High School
  • Richard Donajkowski (Davisburg, MI), Engineer, Fiat Chrysler Automobiles, Pontiac Academy For Excellence
  • Dave Lewan (Royal Oak, MI), Account Manager, Kelly Services, Community High School
  • Alexandria Marjamaa (Troy, MI), Implementation Coordinator, Kelly Services, Madison High School

“While our volunteer mentors come from all over the metro Detroit area and from a broad spectrum of industries, there’s at least two things they all have in common,” said Carla Wellborn, program manager for Winning Futures. “They all have an incredible desire to help students be successful, and they are truly dedicated to our mentoring work.”