Community Foundation Holland/Zeeland

Have questions?

Contact Stacy Timmerman, Director of Scholarships, at 616-994-8852 or via email.

Holland/Zeeland Promise Scholarship

What Makes the Holland/Zeeland Promise Unique?

  • It’s a last-dollar scholarship which means that after other grants and scholarships have been applied, we cover the remaining cost of tuition, books, room and board. Our goal is for students to graduate debt free or as debt free as possible. 
  • Unlike many other scholarships, the Promise is renewable for additional undergraduate years, dependent on students remaining in good academic standing and making progress toward their degrees. 
  • The Promise offers a side-by-side approach, addressing not only financial needs, but also academic and socio-emotional needs.  We check in with students monthly to see how they are handling courses and life at school. We help them access counseling, tutoring or other resources as needed. 
  • The program encourages peer mentoring by bringing students together at an annual summer gathering.
  • To date the Promise boasts a 93 percent graduation rate in comparison to a national average graduation rate of 56 percent (National Student Clearinghouse).
  •  Many Promise graduates return to our community to live, work and give back.
  • Many donors make a four-year pledge, their "promise" to see scholars all the way through to graduation.

We hope you'll help send local scholars to college or technical school by becoming a donor today.




The Holland/Zeeland Promise began in 2010 as a dream to replicate the Kalamazoo Promise and allow our area's young people to graduate college or technical school without the burden of crushing student debt. 

Recognizing they did not have the kind of donor endowment which the Kalamazoo Promise enjoys, a group of business and community leaders came together to create the Holland/Zeeland Promise. Since its inception, the Promise has been housed at the Community Foundation of the Holland/Zeeland Area where it has received administrative support. CFHZ is proud to be  part of the Promise's success story and future growth. 

Promise candidates are nominated and recommended by their high school or Careerline Tech Center guidance counselors or staff at Hope College Trio's Upward Bound ProgramBoys and Girls Club of Greater Holland or Latin Americans United for Progress.

Selection is based on a range of factors including high financial need, the motivation to achieve the goal of a college or technical degree and proven academic success.  In addition, most Promise recipients are the first in their families to go to college.

Since 2010, more than 100 individuals and businesses have supported 47 scholars as they have pursued degrees throughout Michigan. Most donors make a four-year pledge, their “promise,” which enables us to know that we can support a student all the way through school. Today’s average annual award size per student is $12,500.


Congratulations to the Promise's largest class of new scholars!

2018: Anna, Eliseo, Elizabeth, Graciela, Ivonne, Karen, Lesly, Lydia, Melissa, Nancy, Michael and Taliah 

2017: Arely, Freddie, Justin, Marisol, Marita, Micah, Taylor K. and Taylor W.

2016: David, Eric, Ivan, Julian, Kariana, Rodrigo, Srey and Tanya

2015: Diana, Edgar, Michael and Nhi 


Congratulations to the Promise's most recent graduate, Yessica!

Yessica earned her Bachelor of Science in Nursing from Western Michigan University and has begun her career in the intraoperational surgery unit at Holland Hospital.

Yessica joins Promise graduates: Yadah, RogelioDianaLily, Laura, Cynthia, Courtney, Teohary, Dave, Priscilla, Andrewand Allison.


Special thanks to donors who are making extra contributions to come alongside the largest incoming class of scholars in Promise history; our anonymous $100,000 donor; and Herman Miller Cares for matching grant support!

We are pleased that most donors commit for four years and recommit so the program can include an ever-increasing numbers of scholars.

The dream of offering scholarships to motivated students, many the first in their families to attend college, could not happen without the support of our Promise donors:

Dr. John and Monica Arendshort

Mr. and Mrs. Robert Bakker

Chris Bart

John and Susan Barwis

Franco and Allesandra Bianchi

Dr. Dan and Kate Bolt

John and Nancy Bolt

Tom Bos

Jim and Donna Brooks

Leslie Brown

Catherine Clements

Christopher and Lorna Cook

DeNooyer Chevrolet

DeNooyer Chevrolet Employees

Robert DeNooyer II and Colette Volkema DeNooyer

Robert J. DeNooyer Sr.

Dominique and Julie DeNooyer

Nicole DeNooyer and Chris Taylor

Chris and Barb DePree

Roger and Janet DeYoung

Jeff Elhart

Jacob Essenburg

Fifth Third Bank

Dan and Mary George

Marianne Hageman

Craig and Karen Hall

Richard G. and Ethie Haworth

Don and Jodi Heeringa

Tim and Anne Hemingway

Herman Miller through Herman Miller Cares

Dr. Bill and Dr. Maria Hoekstra

Huizenga Foundation

Patrick and Jeanne Kellner

Phil and Lil Koning

Dan and Jan Koster

Pat Leblanc

Mr. and Mrs. David D. Lamberts

Richard and Marcia Lievense

Jim and Sarah Lily

Sam and Jean Martin

Bruce and Carla Masselink

Phillip and Dr. Nancy Miller

Tim Moore

Richard and Susan Muzzy

Holly D. Palmer

Perkins Malo Hunter Foundation

Kathleen Ponitz

Scott and Gina Prince

Rey and Kelli Rivera

Mary Schregardus

David and Katie Shellenbarger

Dick and Nancy Shepherd

Mike and Ann Staed

Robert and Deborah Sterken

Dr. Jim and Dolly Strikwerda

Jim and Carol Stroop

William and Nancy Sturgeon

Linda and Dave Thompson

Rolfe and Stacy Timmerman

Varnum LLP/ Attorneys at Law

Hank and Cora Visscher

Michael and Valerie Volkema

Jan and Carol Wagner

Brian and Colleen Walker

Susan and Joel Wolfe

In the News

Holland, Zeeland leaders rally to support Promise Scholarship program, MiBiz, September 15, 2018 

Holland/Zeeland Community Foundation to 'Grow the Promise' Scholarship, Holland Sentinel, September 14, 2018

Proud Panther, Holland Sentinel, May 31, 2018. Michael is a 2018 Promise Scholar!

Holland-area Nonprofits Host Events, Campaigns for #GivingTuesday, Holland Sentinel, November 28, 2017

Meet Destination Education's New College Advisers, Holland Sentinel, August 20, 2017. Yadah became a Promise Scholar in 2013,  graduated from the University of Michigan in 2017 and has returned to work at Holland High School.

Beating the Odds: Holland High Seniors Excel to be First-Generation College Students, Holland Sentinel, April 20, 2017. Freddie and Marita became Promise Scholars in 2017.

Herman Miller Gives to Promise Scholarship, Holland Sentinel, March 22, 2017

Holland/Zeeland Promise Scholarships Show Promise, Holland Sentinel, August 30, 2012

The Holland/Zeeland Promise Helps Disadvantaged, Dedicated Students, Holland Sentinel, September 7, 2011

Three Holland Seniors Get First 'Promise' Scholarships, The Grand Rapids Press, June 8, 2010

Application Process

Promise candidates are nominated by their high school or Careerline Tech Center counselors or staff at Hope College Trio's Upward Bound Program, Boys and Girls Club of Greater Holland or Latin Americans United for Progress.

During the second semester of the school year, nominated candidates are contacted by the Foundation's Director of Scholarships and given instructions regarding the application and selection process.

Selection is rigorous and based on a range of factors. High financial need, the motivation to achieve the goal of a college or technical degree and strong recommendations are priorities. In addition, most Promise recipients are the first in their families to go to college.

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85 East 8th Street, Suite 110, Holland, MI 49423   (616) 396-6590   Email us