Marita is a 2017 graduate of Holland High School studying at the University of Michigan’s Ford School of Public Policy.

She was recommended for a H/Z Promise Scholarship by her high school guidance counselor who said she had never met another student with such an impressive work ethic.

That solid work ethic was rewarded when Marita was selected as the recipient of the Foundation’s Franklin D. Kraai Scholarship and Fifth Third Bank Minority Scholarship.

Marita credits Ms. Emde and Ms. Flegal at Holland High School for showing her how to get to college and she expresses a strong desire to use her education to show appreciation for all the sacrifices her mother has made for her.

What did receiving the H/Z Promise Scholarship mean to Marita?

Like moving to America from Cambodia, a college education will be another portal in my life: a portal in a series of portals of perpetual self-discovery and self-growth as a human being.

There are no words to convey how appreciative and grateful I am to be selected as the recipient for this scholarship. It relieves me and my parents from the dreadful financial concerns of affording a college education. Because of this, I can focus more on the academic aspect, the most important aspect of college. Thank you for inspiring me to continue so I can help others and give back to the community.”

Marita’s advice to high school students:

“Things don’t always go as planned, and you might think that it’s the end of it all, but you’ll pick yourself back up, and it’ll work out in the end. Believe in yourself and that you’ve made it this far.”

To learn more about the Holland/Zeeland Promise Scholarship, visit