Laura Durham & Mill Pond Realty Helping Local Students Follow Their Dreams
Laura Durham, owner of Mill Pond Realty in Saugatuck, loves giving back to her community and equally loves helping youg people. One way she does both is through her “Follow Your Dreams” scholarship program which this year selected Elijah Sessions and Keegan Seifert as recipients.
“I am pleased to say this is my fourth year in giving out scholarships to both a Fennville and a Saugatuck graduate. I have been fortunate in my own life to realize my dreams in serving the community through my real estate company,” said Laura.
“It’s a privilege to recognize and help passionate, hardworking students pursue their own dreams of serving others.
“At a very young age I always knew I wanted to own my own business and work for myself. Becoming licensed in real estate in 1982 and opening Mill Pond Realty 27 years ago was my dream come true,” she said.
“I am pleased that one of the first candidates from Saugatuck High School, Skylar Fucile, has continued to stay in contact with me and this past spring graduated from nursing school in Key West, Florida.
“We are so proud of Skylar and her new career knowing she will touch people’s lives and make a difference along the way,” noted Laura.
Elijah Sessions is 18 and graduated from Fennville High School this past spring. He received a $1,000 scholarship from Laura to enable him to attend Haskell Indian Nations University in Lawrence, Kansas.
“I will major in American Indigenous Studies with a four-year degree in Human Resources,” said Elijah. “I hope to become a director of Human Resources eventually, like my older brother, Tyler.
“I am a member of the Chippewa tribe from Sault St. Marie. “To qualify for the scholarship I had to write an essay on where I wanted to go to college and what I wanted to pursue.
“I want to assist other Native Americans on the reservations and help them prepare for jobs,” he said. “That is what Human Resource directors do. There are approximately 32,000 Chippewas in the country and many drop out of school and don’t continue their education. I overcame my Native American (history for some) by NOT dropping out of school.”
Elijah’s parents are Steve and Lisa Sessions.
“There is no tuition at the Haskell Indian Nations University so the scholarship will pay for my first year (living expenses) there. I have also received Pell Grants.”
Keegan Seifert is the other recipient of the Laura Durham/Mill Pond Realty scholarship.
He was active in cross-country and track and will attend Michigan State University in August and will work towards earning a business degree. He is a graduate of Saugatuck High School.
“I want to combine the outdoors, such as camping, hunting and fishing with my dream of opening an outdoor store,” said Keegan.
“Mike and Amy Seifert are my parents and they have encouraged me throughout my life. I want to use the store as a platform to educate people to the outdoors.”
Keegan shared that he did a lot of hunting and fishing as a kid and had a mentor, Hal Hutchinson, a retired police detective, who encouraged him to follow his heart and strive to be the best and give back to society.
Keegan has received a Butler Business Scholarship of $50. which is renewable, and a Saugatuck Scholarship Foundation grant along with a Saugatuck Educational Association Scholarship of $1,200 which is non-renewable.
Laura Durham has given back to her community in a big way.