Meet Zeal Credit Union’s Scholarship winners for 2018. Our seven recipients, all Zeal Credit Union members and graduating seniors, will receive a total of $14,000. We asked our applicants to show how they live with character, feel with empathy, and act with passion in their school and community. The responses were remarkable and encouraging for our future. We want to thank all those who took the time to apply, and to recognize the parents, families, and educators who have supported the students throughout their education.
Ava Cabble, Stevenson High School, Livonia, daughter of Julie and Blake Cabble from Livonia. Ava is the recipient of our Al Williams Scholarship. Beyond Ava’s academic achievements, her true passion is animal science and veterinary medicine. She has volunteered for nearly four years at P.O.E.T. Animal Rescue and volunteers at the Creature Conservatory caring for exotic animals. She interned at the University of Michigan’s Unit for Laboratory Animals and Sheehy Animal Hospital which have encouraged her love of veterinary medicine. Ava will study Pre-Veterinary at Schoolcraft College.
Abigail Skarbinski, Allen Park High School, Allen Park, daughter of Michele and Daniel Skarbinski of Allen Park. Abigail is the recipient of our Harlan Richardson Scholarship. Abigail shows her character and passion through her leadership and involvement in school and community activities. She volunteered for Life Remodeled, in her church nursery. She serves as Vice President on the Student Council Executive Board and served as class secretary. She’s active in the Interact Club and National Honor Society, and organized the Downriver Boys volleyball tournament that brought together six schools to raise money for charity. She served as varsity tennis team captain receiving All League Academic. Abigail will pursue a degree in Spanish at Grand Valley State University.
Payton Filkins, Riverview Community High School, Riverview, daughter of Shawn and Shannon Filkins of Riverview. Payton is the recipient of our Dutch Farr Scholarship. Payton got involved in the Diversity Club representing her school at the Michigan Roundtable for Diversity and Inclusion, a consortium of multiple downriver schools. She volunteered for three years as a mentor at Camp Invention, a STEM-based program for elementary students and for the Goodfellows’ Toy Drive for the past six years, and at Fish and Loaves. She is involved in many extracurricular activities including: Literature Club, Robotics Club, Marching Band, Spanish Club, Softball, and National Honor Society. Payton plans to study biochemistry at the University of Michigan Dearborn.
Thomas Baert, Walled Lake Western High School, Commerce Township, son of Brian and Joan Baert of Wixom. Thomas is the recipient of our Mark Strobel Scholarship. Thomas shows character and empathy through his involvement in Positive Peer Influence as a peer mediator for students, and a mentor to students with autism and cognitive impairments. He served on mission teams through church helping a church in Pontiac and repairing properties and homes in southern Ohio. He is in the WLW marching band, all concert bands, jazz band and saxophone quartet. His passion lies in his love of playing lacrosse which he plans to continue in college. Thomas will attend Otterbein University in Westerville, OH to study business.
Alexandra Filiatraut, Divine Child High School, Dearborn, daughter of Janice and John Filiatraut of Livonia. Alexandra is the recipient of our Margaret Kremer-Hehman Scholarship. She has served as captain on her school’s varsity volleyball, basketball, and track and field teams. Her passion for sports has led her to volunteer with the Dearborn Track and Field Club and as a tutor for younger athletes. She has also, among others, coordinated an annual fundraiser to raise money for the Karmanos Cancer Institute, volunteered with Motor City Blight Busters to help revitalize Detroit, and created blankets and sleep care packages for students in Detroit Public Schools through Sweet Dreamzzz. Alexandra will be studying Engineering at Miami University, Oxford, OH.
Sean Gillikin, Detroit Catholic Central High School, Novi, son of Jeanine and Robert Gillikin of Canton. Sean is a member and captain of his school’s nationally-ranked Quiz Bowl team (2nd in Michigan and top 50 in the nation). He volunteered with PBJ Outreach in Detroit to feed the poor and homeless, has travelled to South America on a mission trip to work at a boy’s orphanage in Peru, and has a passion for ceramics. He recently won a Silver Key award in the 2018 Scholastic Art Awards. He has served as Finance Club secretary. Sean will study Finance at Michigan State University.
Samara White, Utica Academy for International Studies, Sterling Heights, daughter of Sonja and Elijah White of Sterling Heights. Samara is the recipient of our James Cullimore Scholarship. Samara was named the Rising Star Youth of the year at her church, is captain of the Cass Technical High School Academic Games Team, and a violinist in the music ensemble, Urban Stringz. She is involved at her church as a teen ministry youth leader and dancer in their dance department. Samara’s passion for history and desire to help bring more awareness to her classmates drove her to organize Black History Month presentations to honor African American leaders in various fields. Samara will pursue a degree in Electrical Engineering at Hampton University, Hampton, VA.