Michigan Pagan Scholarship is Pleased to Announce it’s 2016 Scholarship Winner

Michigan Pagan Scholarship is Pleased to Announce it’s 2016 Scholarship Winner

We would like to thank the following organizations for stepping up to insure that the Pagan Scholarship Fund continues:

Universal Society of Ancient Ministry
Magical Educational Council
Witches Of Michigan
Candle Wick Shoppe
Coventry Creations
Midwest Witches’ Ball

The Michigan Pagan Scholarship purpose is to recognize and encourage young Pagans. Only one scholarships is awarded each year, Winners must demonstrate evidence of leadership, and engage in community service.

We are pleased to inform you that Pete Ryland Shoda, III has been selected by the 2016 Michigan Pagan Scholarship as this years winner.

Pete Ryland Shoda, III lives in Grand Rapids, Michigan, and recently graduated from West Michigan Aviation Academy. Pet is going to GRCC and Northwestern Colleges. GRCC will gives him a chance to take classes there that he needs and then go to Northwestern for flying classes. Northwestern College is one of the best colleges for flying in the US. Michigan has the best weather to learn to fly because it has such sudden climate changes. The degree Pete is going for is Aviation Operations, which is a Bachelor Degree.

Read his winning Essay’s @ http://pagancollegescholarship.org/2016-winning-essay/
What it means to be a Pagan

2016 Winning Essay

WHAT BEING PAGAN MEANS TO ME

By

Pete Ryland Shoda, III

What being Pagan means to me, it means I have the ability to walk in the woods, talk to the Divine, become part of Nature, and most of all, it gives me the choice to worship where, when and how I want.

Most people would say that being Pagan means they worship the Goddess.  While this is something that I do as well, it also has allowed me to worship much, much more.  People that go to church go one time a week, a couple hours, then that’s it, they go home. Not Pagan’s, not me.  Being Pagan means that I have a lot to live up to.  The God’s and Goddesses are watching me, Mother Nature is watching me, and the wind is listening to me, carrying my spells, chants and requests to the Universe.  Always helping, always taking care to leave a small mark, always being a good person to others, taking care of the Earth, giving back when I can.  These are some of the things that being Pagan means to me.

It also means that I have the ability to talk to the Divine, Earth Mother, Father Sky, where and when I want, not having to go to a building, not having to communicate my emotions and words to a person that says, “you are forgiven”. For the Divine, by whatever name you call it, is in me, I can communicate within myself, self-love, self-healing, self-forgiving, for the Divine lives in me, you, us, the trees, the plants, the grass, she is all around.

Living in West Michigan, the Bible belt, is not easy being Pagan, it’s hard to defend my thoughts and beliefs to others.  I have been asked many times how I can be Pagan, how I can live like “that”.  To which I ask them how is it that you are able to live with such a vindictive God.  My Goddesses and God’s are loving and accept anyone, that is what being Pagan means to me.

Michigan Pagan Scholarship accepting applications for 2016

(Article written on Detroit Paganism Today)

By Mistress Belladonna

The Michigan Pagan Scholarship Fund has opened its applications process for the 2016 year.  The opportunity is open to high schools seniors, undergraduates, or graduate students.  They are looking for students aged 17 years or older, with a GPA of 2.85 or higher, and be a Michigan resident.  They must also be accepted to an accredited four year college or university, and be a full time student and, of course, identify as Pagan.

 

This is an essay style competitive scholarship, meaning only one winner will be chosen from a pool of applicants.  An impartial panel of judges awaits a fresh crop of submissions, identities hidden for fairness.  A recent transcript must accompany the submission in order to verify GPA and residency.

The process is fairly straightforward.  Applicants are asked to “state the reason for applying for this scholarship in 250 words or less and submit a 500 word essay about what being a Pagan means to them.”  Anyone who meets the criteria may apply.  And what is really great is that it is open to those who have been homeschooled, have a GED, or are involved with Alternative education.

So far, two students have won the scholarship.  The first was Miranda Owens in 2014 from Bay City, her scholarship can be seen here.  The second winner was 2015’s Rebecca Phoenix from Ferndale.  Her essay can be read here.  2016’s winner may be YOU, if you apply.

The scholarship is entirely funded by the generosity of donors.  Without them, there could be no continuation of this dream.  Many will recognize the 2015 roster of contributors. They are the Universal Society of Ancient Ministry, Magical Educational Council, Witches Of Michigan, Pagan Pride Detroit, Back 9 GraFX, and the  Midwest Witches Ball.

Also, drawings at the Gatherings of Pagans by the Witches of Michigan, contributions by individuals, Paula & Gordon Ireland, and stores that have allowed drop boxes continually assists in this work.  This year, Coventry Creations , Candle Wick Shoppe, and Ancient Faiths Alliance will join the proud company of sponsors for 2016.

Parents, for those who like to shop, you can also show your support by purchasing your heart’s desires through the Universal Society of Ancient Ministry’s online store.  A portion of the sales help to fund the scholarship.  You can also donate directly as well.

So fire up those pens and set your sites on applying.  Applications are being taken now.  There are no fees and the only thing keeping you waiting is you.  Follow this link to apply at  Michigan Pagan Scholarship Application.

Now Accepting Applications for 2016 Scholarship Award

Michigan Pagan Scholarship Fund is offering a $500.00 Pagan College Scholarship for a rising high school senior, undergraduate, or graduate. All applicants must live in Michigan. Applicants must be 17 years of age or older, have a current GPA of 2.85 or higher, be Pagan, and currently accepted in a full time course of study in any accredited four-year college or university. Applicants must provide their most recent school transcript to establish state of residency, and GPA requirements. In addition they must also state the reason for applying for this scholarship in 250 words or less and submit a 500 word essay about what being a Pagan means to them.

 

New Announcement

The Michigan Pagan College Fund and the Universal Society of Ancient Ministry is pleased to announce a new sponsor for the Michigan Pagan College Fund. Please Welcome Coventry Creations and the Candle Wick Shoppe who have pledged a total of $500 a year to the college fund.

Your gifts have helped Michigan Pagan students not only go to college, but graduate. Together we provide opportunities for self-sufficiency and success! Each student you see not only speaks for themselves, but also for those who have been able to attend college. For everything you have done and continue to do, we thank you. Because our College Fund gifts are unrestricted, they can be put to use where the student needs them most.

Thank you for supporting the Michigan Pagan Scholarship Fund. Your generosity ensures our students are able to pursue their academic dream

Thank you for your generosity!

Universal Society of Ancient Ministry Online Store

http://usoam.org/shop
100% of the profits from these goods directly fund the Churches Building Fund, Pagans In Need, The Michigan Pagan College Fund. Little Witches’ Ball and other projects that help us grow as a Church and community. Universal Society of Ancient Ministry Online Store is a Pagan / Wicca store offering Witchcraft supplies for the Pagan-minded. Let your magickal journey begin by exploring one of our featured categories below or to your left. From our hearth to yours, Blessed Be!

Little Witches Ball

October 9, 2015
6 pm – 10 pm
VFW Hall
25500 Sherwood Ave
Warren, MI 48091

This years theme is going to be “Welcome To Hogwarts” from the Harry Potter movies and books to match the grown up Witches Ball theme “Magic and Mayhem”.

This is going to be a blast for our children, we will have soft drinks – Pizza and music. We are requesting donations of candy flat ware and party decorations and of course money…all donations may be given to Gerrybrete Leonard or Merlyn Firstborn.

Want to Sponsor? Get a Link to Your site Here

Admission: Children up to 17 years old $7.50 Adults 18 years and older $10.00 Church members the prices are Children up to 17 years old $5.00 Adults 18 years and older $7.50

Children Under 10 must be accompanied by a parent.

Tickets may be purchased at the following link and your PayPal receipt will serve as your ticket.

https://www.facebook.com/events/1633824370200874/
http://www.meetup.com/michiganpagans/events/223867943/
Purchase your Tickets Here http://usoam.org/little-witches-ball/

We will be collecting food for Pagans In Need http://pagansinneed.org/

We will also be collecting Toys for Yule, so please bring a new unwrapped toy to donate.

Why should we support the Michigan Witches Ball

by Mistress Belladonna aka Kenya Coviak

There are a large amount of great times and good fundraisers going on in Pagan Michigan right now. Chief among them are usually the food drives and human interest stories. However, there is a special quality to supporting the ball that speaks to a unique need in our community. The Michigan-Midwest Witches Ball expressly supports the Michigan Pagan Scholarship Fund.

This fund was the natural evolution, and legacy, of the Tempest Smith Foundation’s works, and continues to serve the families of Michigan in noble spirit. Through the tireless efforts of Gordon Ireland, and the Board of Governors of the Michigan Pagan Scholarship Fund, two awards have been given to young scholars as of 2015 CE. In the form of $500 recurring grants for four years, it is a critical resource that must be renewed in order to facilitate tomorrows thinkers, dreamers, builders, artists, and mystics.

The ball has made the honorable stand of donating a dollar per ticket to the fund. This is about $500 per year, and is the most visible supporter in the communities. Not to be discounted, however, is the ongoing support of the Magical Education Council. They have pledged $500 per year. So that covers just a little, but this does not help with administrative costs, reporting, logistics, or even continuing the selection and award process for a third winner.

Support in the forms of donations through drawings at the famous Gatherings of Pagans by the Witches of Michigan continually chip away at the maintenance concerns. Goodhearted and generous folk of many paths come together each month to assist with the mission of keeping it going. Through raffles, and even straight gifting, the group, and it’s partner the Universal Society of Ancient Ministry, keeps grinding away with innovative and inspired efforts. With Rev. Gerrybrete at the helm, we expect great things.

A community based style partnership has also bloomed between Pagan Pride Day Detroit and the fund as well. It’s annual tea cup drawing has been dedicated to the fund. The organizers at Pagan Pride Detroit, Inc. have thrown their full support in getting on board with this cause.

But these groups alone are not enough. The ball, while the event of the Midwest, is not going to sponsor itself. It needs support. It needs the support of the communities and societies that make up Pagan Michigan. It needs the sponsorship of the local businesses, whether brick and mortar or online entities, in order to secure the material resources that it needs to facilitate the fete. If you are so moved to do so, you can find the information by following this link.

It needs people to commit to buying the tickets and attending. It needs people to say that they support its donation goals in the form of advertising, patronage, or even just promotion. Because it is more than just the “Pagan Prom” now, it is the bridge to college and beyond. They need a hero. Is it you?

Full Disclosure: This writer is affiliated with multiple organizations and projects in the Michigan, and other, Pagan communities. This includes the USAM and the ball itself. If you want to know more about this writer’s activities, message her.

See Original Article Here
http://www.examiner.com/article/why-should-we-support-the-michigan-witches-ball

Little Witches’ Ball

Little Witches Ball

October 9, 2015
6 pm – 10 pm
VFW Hall
25500 Sherwood Ave
Warren, MI 48091

This years theme is going to be “Welcome To Hogwarts” from the Harry Potter movies and books to match the grown up Witches Ball theme “Magic and Mayhem”.

This is going to be a blast for our children, we will have soft drinks – Pizza and music. We are requesting donations of candy, flat ware and party decorations and of course money…all donations may be given to Gerrybrete Leonard or Merlyn Firstborn.

Want to Sponsor? Get a link to your site here http://usoam.org/little-witches-ball/little-witches-ball-sponsors/

Admission: Children up to 17 years old $7.50 Adults 18 years and older $10.00

Universal Society of Ancient Ministries Church members go here for pricing http://usoam.org/little-witches-ball-member-pricing/

Children Under 10 must be accompanied by a parent.

Tickets may be purchased at the following link and your PayPal receipt will serve as your ticket. http://usoam.org/little-witches-ball/

We will be collecting food for Pagans In Need http://pagansinneed.org/

We will also be collecting Toys for Yule, so please bring a new unwrapped toy to donate.

Michigan Pagan Scholarship Fund Ramps Up Efforts

Original article posted on the Wild Hunt

http://wildhunt.org/2015/05/michigan-pagan-scholarship-funds-ramps-up-efforts.html

Terence P Ward —  May 19, 2015

DETROIT, Michigan –The Michigan Pagan Scholarship Fund announced its second annual winner last week, naming Rebecca Phoenix as the 2015 recipient.

Rebecca A Phoenix lives in Ferndale, Michigan, and recently graduated from Ferndale High School. Rebecca Phoenix is a die-hard history, mythology and art buff. Put these passions together you get a direct line to studying museum sciences. Rebecca will be attending Oakland Community College in the fall for her associates and then will finish her degree at Wayne State University. In the summers she will be performing with the Legends drum core marching band, competing all over the Midwest.

Phoenix’s essay was selected by the Board of Governors of the Michigan Pagan Scholarship Fund, and for that she will be awarded $500 a year for the next four years. This commitment is a significant step up from its predecessor organization, the Tempest Smith Foundation (TSF), and seeks to widen the trail that was blazed by that non-profit. TSF provided scholarships as part of a mission focused on encouraging religious tolerance. As reported by The Wild Hunt in late 2013 as TSF was winding down operations, teaching tolerance was important to the foundation’s late founder, Denessa Smith:

Before passing away, Denessa’s dream was to award TSF college scholarships. The recipient would be chosen through a contest in which students would submit a 300 word essay on the meaning of ‘tolerance.’ Annette [Crossman, who succeeded Smith in leading the foundation] fulfilled this goal. Since 2010, TSF has given out 6 $500 dollar scholarships to Michigan high school seniors. At ConVocation 2014, TSF will award three more scholarships – its last action before closing down operation.

Gordon Ireland, administrator of the Michigan Pagan Scholarship Fund, told The Wild Hunt how this one aspect of TSF’s work has been carried forward. “I took over doing this because I also run the Midwest Witches Ball . . . and the Ball was always a strong supporter of TSF, in donations and promotion. When they closed down, [I] just hated to see it go away,” he said.

Actually establishing a scholarship according to IRS requirements is by no means an easy feat. However, it was completed timely enough so that there was no gap in offering a scholarship opportunity for Michigan Pagans. Specifically, the eligibility criteria are:

  • Resident of Michigan
  • Self-identify as Pagan for at least one year
  • Minimum age of 16 at time of application
  • Senior in high school, or equivalent education
  • GPA of 2.85
  • Acceptance to an accredited college or university.

Applicants must be able to provide proof of the above requirements, including such things as school transcripts and letter of recommendations by a religious leader or other responsible adult.  They must also write a 500-word essay on how Paganism has changed their life, as well as a 250-word explanation for applying in the first place. That’s one of the differences between the new scholarship and that offered by the Tempest Smith Foundation. TSF’s essay requirements focused on the exhibition of tolerance, reflecting the organization’s mission.

Once the new scholarship is awarded, the recipient can renewed it annually three times for a total of $2,000 as long as they maintain a 2.5 GPA and otherwise comply with requirements set forth by the Board of Governors. That’s another big difference from the TSF program, which awarded a single amount each year.

According to Ireland, this longer-term commitment was made possible through the support of a number of other organizations. The Witches Ball committed to a dollar per ticket, which averages $500 in funding a year, and the Magical Education Council (organizers of ConVocation, where TSF’s founding ritual took place in 2003) has committed to a straight $500 annually. Pagan Pride Detroit organizers promised the proceeds from the raffle held at its annual event, and additional support has been provided by the Universal Society of Ancient Ministry, which provides the non-profit legal framework and local business sponsors. In addition to this ongoing local support, the scholarship is also the focus of two of its own fund-raising events each year.

“Creating a scholarship is about raising funds,” Ireland said. “If you cannot guarantee a certain yearly income do not bother, as all you end up doing is disappointing some kid.” With two scholarships to award, the organization will be doling out a thousand dollars this year, ramping up to the $2,000 annually to be divided among four recipients when it reaches its peak. Together with operational costs and publicity, the Michigan Pagan Scholarship Fund expects to need $2,500 a year. Ireland recommends that anyone wishing to copy this model take heed of the work-load, adding that having “a business networking model of raising money” is helpful. He also said “it takes a village to raise a child, or at least put one through college.”