Rotary believes in developing the next generation of leaders. Our scholarships help young leaders build leadership skills, expand education and learn the value of service. Thanks to many generous Rotarians and donors, our Foundation supports several scholarships that are available to local high school students to be used for post-secondary educational pursuits.



The Rotary Club of Grand Rapids Rotary Charities Foundation is now accepting applications for the David A. and Nancy V. Huhn Scholarship/Grant for the 2021-2022 academic year. This scholarship/grant is focused on education, specifically in the technical, mechanical and engineering areas, which the donor(s) believe will lead to high demand careers.

The application can be found by clicking here: David V. and Nancy A. Huhn Scholarship Application. The application is open to high school graduates and/or attendees at community colleges, technical colleges, or four-year colleges/universities, however, the recipient must be enrolled in a field related to the intent of the donor(s). Applicants must show certified acceptance at a specific college/university, or, if already enrolled, must provide a certified transcript indicating the next enrolled term/semester.

Applications are closed for the 2021-2022 fiscal year.  The next application window will open in Spring 2023.


The scholarship was established in 2001 in memory of Joel Boyden, a much loved and respected past president of Rotary, Grand Rapids Bar Association and the Michigan State Bar. Then in 2003, the scholarship expanded to honor the memory of Rotarian Tom Shearer.

The scholarship is awarded to a qualified Grand Rapids-area high school senior who has met the four standards established for the award; scholastic achievement, athletic achievement, community service and financial need.


STRIVE (Students Taking a Renewed Interest in the Value of Education) is a one-on-one mentoring program offered by Rotary GR at Grand Rapids Public Schools high schools: Ottawa Hills and Union. Mentors and mentees meet weekly to discuss academics, everyday life and to prepare for the future. Mentors and mentees also participate in several volunteer projects and attend Rotary events together. Mentors also help students navigate career options and arrange job shadowing opportunities. Students that successfully complete the program are eligible for scholarships.

Students interested in the program should reach out to their principal or guidance counselors.

Highlights of STRIVE include:

  • More than 350 GRPS juniors and seniors have participated in the program since 1995
  • More than $350,000 has been awarded in scholarships and thousands of additional dollars have been paid for summer work incentives
  • Typically 20-25 students are served each year
  • Mentors volunteer up to 1,000


The Richard and Helen DeVos Scholarship was established in 2021 by the Rotary Club of Grand Rapids Charities Foundation to honor the legacy of Richard and Helen DeVos and their commitment to education. A generous gift from the Richard and Helen DeVos Foundation to the Rotary Club of Grand Rapids Charities Foundation allowed for the creation of this scholarship to support a Michigan resident with tuition and related expenses for Masters level, Doctoral level, or advanced research pursuits at an accredited public or private college or university in Michigan.

The scholarship recipient selected for 2022 will be awarded $25,000.

Students entering an accredited college or university or who are already enrolled in any of the former are encouraged to apply for this scholarship. An important part of the application process is a Statement of Purpose (SoP) (please see below), demonstrating why the scholarship is needed, the academic program the candidate is pursuing, career plans for the scholarship applicant, and letters of recommendations. Once awarded, the scholarship recipient will be required to present a written report / update on October 1, 2022 and April 1, 2023, to the Chair of the Scholarship Committee of the Rotary Club of Grand Rapids Charities Foundation. The recipient may also be asked to attend a meeting of the Rotary Club of Grand Rapids Charities Foundation Board of Trustees and a Rotary Club of Grand Rapids Thursday luncheon.

This scholarship is a one-year award. However, successful recipients may apply each year for this scholarship. Applications will be due annually by April 1st, and will be reviewed by a Scholarship Committee comprised of Rotary Club of Grand Rapids Members appointed by the Rotary Club of Grand Rapids Charities Foundation Board. The April 1st, application deadline will allow for review, candidate interviews, a final determination of the scholarship recipient by June 30th, and the funding to be received for fall enrollment. This merit-based, needs-based, and non-discriminatory scholarship will be awarded on the basis of the completed application, and personal interview. The funds will be paid directly to the college or university on behalf of the student tuition, so a student number must be submitted by the successful candidate.


The application process has closed for fiscal year 2021-2022.  Applications will reopen in Spring 2023.