By Lorie Lewis Ham
Once again, it is time for students to apply for the Mennonite Insurance Scholarship. College can be very expensive, so every bit of help can make a difference. Mennonite Insurance believes an education is very important so they decided back in 2011 that they wanted to do their part to help.
This scholarship has been a help to many students through the years. In last year’s article about the scholarship, Mennonite Insurance employee Claudia Fetes, who is in charge of the scholarships, expressed a desire to hear from some of the past recipients to see how they are doing. This year, we had the chance to chat with a few of them.
Randy Reiswig received one of the scholarships in 2019. “Receiving the scholarship was most helpful in keeping my student loan debt to a minimum and was a great encouragement and affirmation of my educational journey.”
Randy is pursuing a Doctor of Ministry in Spiritual Formation and Leadership degree from Portland Seminary in Newberg, Oregon, and will be graduating in December of 2022. He is currently lead pastor at Shorelife Community Church in Capitola, California. His goal in obtaining the degree was to answer the Lord’s calling on his life and fulfill a personal longing to experience more profound spiritual enlightenment. “Receiving the grant made it possible for me to attend the doctoral program needed to attain the goal of receiving a DMin and further the success of my calling as a pastor. I want to express my heartfelt gratitude to the Scholarship Committee for selecting me to receive their grant, through which my financial burden was greatly diminished and the opportunity for education [that] I believe the Lord had set before me was brought to fruition.”
After serving in ministry with InterVarsity for eight years, Kevin Reifman was a recipient of the scholarship in 2020 and is currently attending Fresno Pacific Biblical Seminary’s program for Marriage and Family Therapy. He will graduate in 2024. “One of my hesitations about going back to school was about incurring a lot of student debt really quickly. The Mennonite Insurance Scholarship helped give me some peace of mind, knowing that I had assistance going into the first year. I can’t thank Mennonite insurance enough for the help in kick starting my entry into Fresno Pacific!”
This semester has been very significant for Kevin. He took a counseling children’s lab and part of his work sent him to an elementary school in Orange Cove to meet with a few students each week. “I am learning the basic skills of what it looks like to counsel children through non-directive play therapy. I went in anxious about my lack of experience working with kids, but have found that God’s really met me in the work I have been doing. I have been able to hold space for kids to process their emotions through play and be a safe container for them.
“I am finishing up this semester with more confidence than ever that God has called me into a career as a counselor. I am more open and excited about the prospect of working with kids than I ever have been. And I am blessed to know that I am making an impact on the community, however small. The scholarship was hugely helpful in giving me a running start into the program.”
Tatiana Sandoval received the scholarship in the fall of fall of 2017, 2018, and 2019. “The Mennonite insurance Scholarship opened up new possibilities for higher education and enabled me to pursue a degree at my first choice university.”
She graduated from Biola University in Southern California with a Bachelor’s degree in Nursing, and minor in Biblical Studies, and just received her first job offer working as a registered nurse in the emergency department at Community Regional Medical Center. “Getting to this point would not have been possible without the generous grants I received during my time in college, including the Mennonite Insurance grant. I am grateful for the help they provided me in pursuing this calling and hope they continue to assist college students in the future.”
The deadline to apply for the scholarship this year is July 1, 2022. To be eligible to apply you must meet the following criteria:
- A member or regular attender of a Mennonite, Mennonite Brethren, Brethren in Christ or Missionary church in AZ, CA, OR or WA (West Coast)
- Enrolled in a 4-year college, university or graduate school on the West Coast
- At least a college junior with a cumulative grade point average of at least 3.0 (on a 4.0 scale).
Scholarships of $1,000 will be awarded to up to five applicants each year. Applicants may apply multiple years. Preference will be given to applicants who have not previously received the scholarship. To obtain more information, and to apply, go to mennoniteinsurance.com/scholarships.
If you have received one of these scholarships in the past, Mennonite Insurance would love to hear how your college education helped you in your life. Please consider sharing on their Facebook page.