The Joe D. Pentecost Foundation supports several scholarships for students in the greater Lansing area, including awards for students who transfer from Lansing Community College to continue their studies at Michigan State University.
Supporting Lansing Area Spartans
In 2002 Joe D. Pentecost established a foundation to promote education, and support the social and economic life of the greater Lansing, Michigan area. Mr. Pentecost has long standing ties to the community, and a long history of supporting Michigan State University. The eponymous foundation he created awards grants to nonprofits serving many local community needs. The foundation also awards Lansing H.O.P.E. (Helping Other People Excel) Scholarships to local students to attend Lansing Community College.
In 2010 the Joe D. Pentecost Foundation established an expendable scholarship at Michigan State University. The fund, currently known as the Joe D. Pentecost Foundation H.O.P.E. Scholarship, provides scholarship awards to “worthy and capable students at Michigan State University” who have transferred from Lansing Community College and were recipients of the Lansing H.O.P.E. Scholarship as LCC students.
Twice each year, Lansing-area middle school students are invited to the campus of Michigan State University for the Joe's Kids program. There they hear a presentation about the Lansing H.O.P.E. and MSU scholarship programs, and they’re given the opportunity to meet some of the current MSU students being supported by the foundation. Afterward, the students are able to enjoy an MSU football game in the fall, or a baseball or softball game in the spring, before boarding buses to return to school.
Prior to this spring's event we spoke with three of the MSU Spartans and H.O.P.E. Scholarship beneficiaries who met with the students: Oacia Fair, Paxton Klaver, and Phuoc Ngo.
Phuoc Ngo is a junior studying applied engineering and packaging. He transferred from Lansing Community College this fall, after graduating from Everett High School. He’s originally from Vietnam and moved here with his family at age 11.
Ngo appreciates that the H.O.P.E. Scholarship has allowed him to work fewer hours and to buy his books so that he can concentrate his time on his studies. He spends a lot of time in the Engineering Building! His advice to future Spartans is to take any Advanced Placement (AP) courses that you can in high school, as he feels this makes the transition to collegiate-level academic work easier.
Paxton Klaver is a senior studying zoology and psychology. Klaver graduated from Sexton High School before attending Lansing Community College and MSU.
Her advice to incoming students is to speak with advisors at Lansing Community College early on. This will help you ensure that the courses you plan to take at LCC will easily transfer to Michigan State.
Oacia Fair is a junior studying environmental studies and sustainability. Fair graduated from Everett High School before attending Lansing Community College and transferring to MSU. She’s living in a residence hall to get the campus life experience, though she says she feels older than everyone around her.
Coming to MSU has taught her to maintain balance between her studies and her extracurricular activities. Her diligent work has allowed her the chance to study abroad in the rainforests of Nicaragua, and to represent her student organization at a conference in Florida. Her advice to incoming students is to stay focused on schoolwork, be sure to network with peers, and take advantage of all the opportunities to succeed. But most importantly, she says, “Don’t stop. Never give up. It’s worth it.”