Ivan is a 2016 West Ottawa High School graduate studying Supply Chain Management at Grand Valley State University.
He began dreaming of a college education when he was only six years old and the reason why might surprise you. Ivan looked at a much older brother and felt he was missing an important opportunity when he didn’t do well academically in high school. At six, Ivan decided he would do better.
Ivan thanks his parents who kept encouraging him that his hard work would pay off in the future. And there were teachers too that kept Ivan believing he could achieve his dream. Ivan wanted to make all of them proud so even when he confronted language hurdles, he dug down deep and told himself “Keep going, you can do this!” And he did! Ivan graduated from high school with grades that earned him a place in the National Honor Society.
Carola VanHeukelom, College Counselor at West Ottawa had this to say about Ivan:
“Ivan is kind and unassuming. He has taken every opportunity to take rigorous AP courses to educate himself. Through his hard work, Ivan has not only developed leadership skills and a strong work ethic, but it has given him a drive beyond the average student to get an education.”
What did receiving the H/Z Promise Scholarship mean to Ivan?
“Because of this scholarship and the possibility of a college education I believe I will be able to help my parents who came to this country so I could take advantage of the possibility of a good education. I will be thankful each day for everyone who has contributed to this scholarship. Because of your promise I can promise to give back too.”
Ivan’s advice to high school students:
“Just keep going. Even when it gets tough, take one more step. Success comes when you keep going.”
To learn more about the Holland/Zeeland Promise Scholarship, visit www.cfhz.org/hzpromise