Lighthouse Learners graduate from CLK with scholarships

Lighthouse Learners photo Lighthouse learners Chaz, Jenna, Maddie, Emilie, Heidi, Olivia and Wyatt are all excited for the opportunities that await them at Michigan Tech.

On May 20, seven Lighthouse Learners were touted at a Graduation Party in MTU’s Ballroom A at the MUB. The Party was held especially to honor them and their graduation from Calumet High School and to present them with their scholarships. Over 100 parents, family, friends and community members were there to applaud the accomplishments of each Lighthouse Learner in their school careers and their acceptance for enrollment at Tech this coming September.

The Learners joined the developmental program in 2010 in the Fifth Grade and each has been earning four years of a full-ride, endowed scholarship, including tuition, room and board, books and fees to attend Michigan Technological University in any field of their choice.

They are required to apply for eligible grants which are applied to the scholarship. Another plus – they won’t have outstanding student loans when they graduate. The Lighthouse Learners program was created and endowed by Barbara Herveat-Horton and Paul Horton.

Barb had a dream of creating a developmental program specifically for the students at CLK Schools, her alma mater, based on her perspective of what contributes to a successful personal and career life, based on her professional and life experiences and the wisdom taught to her by her Mother.

The program is tied to seven pillars – academics, community service, citizenship, spiritual development, learning about and preparing for MTU by participating in MTU activities and thus creating a vision of attending college, personal development, and enriching their own Lighthouse Learners support group.

At the Graduation Party, each of the Learners gave a five-minute presentation on one of the pillars and how participating in it helped each grow. Their reflections were meaningful and inspirational.

“My friends, who are starting college this Fall, are excited and scared,” said Olivia. Because of all the interactions we Learners have had on Tech’s campus, I’m just excited.”

Emilie’s presentation included a description of the Lighthouse Learners Legacy Project. As a result of the Community Service Pillar, the Learners independently took on their legacy project. They decided to add to the equipment in the CLK Middle School Playground. They met with the Principal, sent a survey to all the Middle School students, tallied the results and arranged for additional pieces of playground equipment. There wouldn’t be as much fun at recess without this contribution from the Lighthouse Learners.

Because of the program, when these Lighthouse Learners start MTU, they will enter better prepared and far ahead of their freshman peers because they are familiar with the campus and all the opportunities there. Because of the many after-school sessions they’ve attended, they know the campus, know what is available, have already slept in the dorms, met numerous teens from all parts of the nation, and know where the food and fun are.

For the past eight years, the Learners have attended up to 30 extra school sessions every year covering a plethora of developmental topics, enjoyed Tech sporting events, Roza performances, MTU lab visits and in addition, spent a week each summer in MTU’s Summer Youth Programs and another week at Bible camp. They certainly have earned their scholarships. A PowerPoint was shown at the Party that pictured events from Day One to Graduation. The growing maturity in the Learners was obvious and awesome.

This success required leadership, creativity and dedication. Retired Superintendent of the Calumet Schools, Darryl Pierce, is the Chief-in-Charge. Co-Directors and teachers Julie Fenton and Charmaine Parsons design the lessons and carry them out. Both Ms. Fenton and Ms. Parsons are very experienced teachers in and from the Calumet School District. Liz Leach (Spiritual sessions) and Janet Wickstrom (Academic Followup) from CLK played important roles. Liz Fujita, Asst. Director of Summer Youth Programs, Lauren Kirwin, Coordinator, College Access, and Bucky Beach, Student Advisor, represent the MTU side of the program. They schedule activities and visits to different departments at MTU that relate directly to the Lighthouse Learners’ individual interests.

The Graduation Party had a second goal, and that was to recognize and say thank you to anyone and everyone who contributed to the Program in any way. The Hortons named contributors and asked them to stand and remain standing to be recognized. At the end, everyone was standing in gratitude, especially the Hortons.

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