A 2016 West Ottawa High School graduate, Julian attends Hope College.

Julian will tell you that he comes late to dreaming of a college education. He had a hard life growing up and says he knows now that he didn’t surround himself with friends who dreamed of something more than the difficult lives they were experiencing.

But the light went on for Julian the summer before his sophomore year in large part because of his participation in Hope College’s Trio Upward Bound Program. Julian credits Upward Bound with teaching him good time management skills, how to be responsible and how to keep a good balance in life.

He also credits his mom and step dad for helping him see as he matured that he needed to reach out to the resources and people around him.

In his junior year of high school, Julian started taking more challenging courses, working hard to improve his G.P.A. Though he had only a 2.7 in his freshman year, Julian reached a cumulative 3.0 G.P.A. — a result of receiving straight A’s by the end of his junior year.

And he also began reaching out in wider circles too, becoming involved with the PALS (the Peer Assisted Listening Program) program at his school as well as Calling All Colors.

Now, the second youngest of eight children, Julian will be the first in his family to attend college!

Elizabeth Colburn, Director of the Trio Upward Bound program had this to say about Julian:

“Julian has approached his education with grit, determination and a positive attitude. He is a genuinely curious person, and his interest in his academic subjects drives him to perform beyond classroom expectations in every circumstance.”

Julian’s Career Goals?

  • He would like to become a therapist specializing in family counseling, especially marriage and teen counseling. To that end he hopes to major in Psychology and minor in Spanish at Hope College.

What does receiving the Holland/Zeeland Promise scholarship mean for Julian?

“I had dreamed of going to Hope College but it was so very expensive. And then when Mrs. Timmerman (Director of Scholarships at the Community Foundation of Holland/Zeeland) announced my name, I wasn’t sure if I had really heard right! But as I realized it was true it affirmed for me that it’s never too late to change and that hard work does pay off!”

(Interesting note: Julian may have been uncertain his name was called! But Stacy Timmerman well remembers how the year before, after announcing the recipients at West Ottawa, Julian marched up to her after the assembly and said with hope and confidence, “You’ll be hearing from me!”)

Julian’s Advice to students who dream of college but face financial or other hurdles?

“Really focus on priorities, what’s most important. And don’t procrastinate!”

To learn more about the Holland/Zeeland Promise Scholarship, visit www.cfhz.org/hzpromise