This year at ConVocation 2014, the Tempest Smith Foundation held its last raffle and passed the torch of the tradition to Michigan Pagan Scholarship Fund. Since 2010, TSF has been providing six 500 dollar scholarships for Pagan students. This was in accord with the hopes of Tempest Smith's Mother Denessa Smith. A memorial page with thoughts on her can be found at http://canisfidelis.50megs.com/tsmith.html.
One of the largest public fundraising events for this goal was the annual raffle held by the Magical Education Council each year at the Midwest's largest Pagan gathering. But it is a new day. And though the body and heart are willing, it is time for Denessa's widow, Executive Director Annette Crossman, to move on to another phase of her life.
Witches of Michigan and the Michigan-Midwest Witches Ball answered the call, and took up the mantle of responsibility and founded the Michigan Pagan Scholarship. They began accepting scholarships from Pagan high school seniors this January 1st. Their parameters are clear, and are available on their Facebook page stating:
"All applicants must live in State of Michigan. Applicants must be 17 years of age or older, have a current GPA of 2.5 or higher, be Pagan, and currently accepted in a full time course of study in any accredited four-year college or university. Applicants must provide their most recent school transcript to establish state of residency, and GPA requirements, and any other scholarships or grants they expect to receive. In addition they must also state the reason for applying for this scholarship in 100 words or less and submit a 500 word essay about what being a Pagan means to them."
To contact them, you can also visit the Universal Society of Ancient Ministry's page regarding the fund. There, interested applicants can download appropriate forms and find out more about the fund. The direct web address is http://pagancollegescholarship.org/.
In a pure and shining testament to the commitment of the Michigan Pagan Community, the new scholarship has been given the support of the Pagan Pride Detroit, Magical Education Council, Universal Society of Ancient Ministry, Witches of Michigan, Michigan Pagan Fest, Michigan-Midwest Witches Ball, and many of the individuals and groups that give us our identity. When all stand together, there is nothing that cannot be accomplished.
Have questions or wish to help? Contact Gordon Ireland, Fund Administrator, at firstname.lastname@example.org. They also accept donations starting as low as $5.00. Every little bit lends its energy to the whole. What price the education of our youth would be too great?