News Michaels Student Living Scholarship Program...
Michaels Student Living Scholarship Program Announces Recipients For 2020 2021 Academic Year

FILED TO: Lifting Lives

The Michaels Educational Foundation bestows record amount of $50,000  to Michaels student housing residents  

December 2, Camden, NJ-- The Michaels Educational Foundation announced today that it has awarded 41 scholarships totaling $50,000, to residents of Michaels’ Student Living Communities. These latest awards bring the total amount of college scholarships bestowed on Michaels residents in 2020 to more than $1.3 million.

“At Michaels, we understand the importance of a good education; it changes the lives of people who then go on to change the world.” said John O’Donnell, CEO of The Michaels Organization. “With this goal in mind, we’re proud to sponsor this scholarship program for our residents, particularly in these challenging times. 

The Michaels Organization, a national leader in residential real estate with comprehensive capabilities in development, property management, finance, and construction, established the non-profit educational foundation 30 years ago, awarding scholarships to Michaels residents annually, as part of Michaels’ commitment to “giving back,” and “doing well by doing the extraordinary.”

Students who reside at an on- or off-campus apartment community that is owned or managed by Michaels Student Living were eligible to apply for a scholarship. The program, which awarded $26,000 in scholarships in 2019, almost doubled the total amount gifted to Michaels Student Living residents, as 2020 was a trying time for many dealing with COVID-19. On top of the normal workload and financial difficulties that students can experience during a typical school year, they were now met with unprecedented challenges that the pandemic infused into everyday life. 

As always, the 2020 Michaels Scholars represent a diverse group of individuals from all walks of life. Though their backgrounds and interests are all different, their dedication and drive for furthering their education and focusing on their future are all equivalent. From a student who volunteers at the Arkansas Crisis Center’s suicide hotline to prepare herself for a career in psychology, to a Peace Corps Volunteer who is obtaining a Master’s in Civil Engineering after being inspired by their time spent in a remote village in West Africa, these Scholars are all destined to make a monumental impact. 

The Michaels Educational Foundation was committed to getting to know applicants on a personal level; the committee was truly interested in hearing about the stories of every single candidate. Shelita Hall, a resident at The Next at ODU will use the scholarship funds towards her doctorate degree in the Materials Science and Engineering department at Norfolk State University. Shelita is currently conducting research with the NASA Langley Research Center in the area of spacecraft engineering and space health protection and hopes to one day prepare for the Mission to Mars. Thomas Helbock, a first-generation college student at Rowan University, as well as a RA and resident at Holly Pointe Commons, has experienced his fair share of hardships but he never let them get in the way of his goals. After getting a job at the age of 14 to support his family who recently lost their house, Thomas learned the importance of hard work and determination, traits he would go on to apply towards his studies in Finance. 

“Our Student Living communities truly represent launching pads for not only our residents’ educational journey, but their whole lives as well,” said John O’Donnell, CEO of The Michaels Organization. “This pandemic has added a lot of pressure to the school year so we couldn't’ be more proud to be able to help these terrific students achieve their dreams.” 

Despite this year’s hardships, The Educational Foundation is confident that the $50,000 awarded will assist those who are following their dreams while calling a Michaels community their home away from home. 

All Foundation funds are raised through voluntary contributions by companies and private individuals throughout The Michaels Organization’s business network. 

About The Michaels Educational Foundation: The Michaels Educational Foundation administers educational scholarship programs open to residents of Michaels Communities. The non-profit foundation is an affiliate of The Michaels Organization, a national leader in residential real estate with full-service capabilities in development, property management, finance, and construction.  Now in its 30th year, The Michaels Educational Foundation was the first of its kind in the affordable housing industry when it was established by Michael and Patricia Levitt in 1991. Since then, the scholarship program has expanded to include residents of Michaels' military and student living communities, and is monumental to The Michaels Organization's mission of Creating Communities that Lift Lives. Learn more at

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