“Be the Change” scholarship making a change for future students

Posted at 10:27 PM, Dec 28, 2016
and last updated 2016-12-28 22:27:47-05

GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. -- A new local scholarship is looking to help the children of parents who’ve spent time behind bars.

The “Be the Change” scholarship was started by the Deamud family in West Michigan, who say they want to provide a way for less-privileged students to go to college.

"It’s a way for us to create awareness in the community for a need for resources," says Jennifer Deamud, co-founder of “Be the Change”. "And then it’s a way to financially support the students who have been affected by a parent who has been incarcerated.”

So far, they've raised $10,000 of their $30,000 goal. They're giving themselves until the end of this coming summer to collect the rest.

“It felt like it was really meaningful to us to be able to do this,” says David Deamud, another co-founder of “Be the Change”. “And it felt real, it wasn’t just writing check or something.”

Jennifer says Michigan ranks third in the country for children who have had an incarcerated parent, affecting at least 10% of kids in the state. Often, she says, those children have less resources than others and could use a boost to help them get their education.

“Be the Change” is an endowed scholarship, so the principal that grows will continually pay for future scholarships. The scholarship will be used at Grand Valley State University and should be ready for its first recipient next fall.

Any donation is welcome, whether it’s pocket change or hundreds of dollars. Donations can be made at their page on the GVSU website.