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February 20, 2018 4:17 pm

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Mill Pond Realty/Laura Durham Helps Students Follow Their Dreams


Local Realtor and philanthropist Laura Durham is once again helping local area students realize their dreams through education.

Mill Pond Realty owner Durham of Saugatuck has announced the 2017 recipients of the Mill Pond Realty/Laura Durham “Follow Your Dreams” Scholarship awarded to a Saugatuck High School and Fennville High School graduate each year.

Anna DeMann, 18 of Fennville, and Michelle Malkowski, 19, of Saugatuck, were each awarded a $1,000 scholarship to help them further their college dreams.

DeMann will be attending Spring Arbor University in Spring Arbor, Michigan this fall. She will be pursuing a degree in clinical psychology.

“I can’t thank Laura Durham enough for awarding me this scholarship,” said DeMann. “My dream is to one day work in a hospital as a psychologist and I’m very excited to start my college career. I really look forward to helping others and seeing where this career path takes me.””

A graduate of Fennville High School, DeMann said she enjoyed being a member of the school’s Chamber Choir. Another highlight was participating in a senior study abroad program in Latvia that allowed her to travel extensively to Germany, Estonia and other countries.

DeMann is also a 2017 recipient of a Spring Arbor University’s Presidential Scholarship and the Leon and Josephine Wade Shepherd Scholarship Fund award.
Her parents are Jamie and Tara DeMann.

Michelle Malkowski is this year’s Saugatuck High School recipient of the Mill Pond Realty/Laura Durham “Follow Your Dreams” scholarship.

Malkowski said she will be pursing an arts education degree and one day hopes to share her talents as an art teacher with young students.

She credits the artistic focus and education she received in the classroom for nurturing her love and passion for the arts. “I’ve always had the best teachers.

“This past summer I worked at the Saugatuck Center for the Arts helping teach a youth program and I just loved it,” said Malkowski. “We created a large mural and everyone had just the best time. I’m looking forward to college. I can’t wait!”

Her father is James Malkowski.

In her third year sponsoring the Mill Pond Realty/Laura Durham “Follow Your Dreams” scholarship, Durham said she is always touched by the individual stories of the award recipients and grateful she can lend a hand in helping them along the way to bring their dreams to fruition.

“I have been fortunate in my own life to realize my dreams in serving the community through my real estate company,” said Durham. “These are exceptional young ladies and I know they will do well. It’s important to me to be a part of a program that gives back to our community.

“The scholarship takes more than just GPA into account,” noted Durham. “While the traditional GPA and the plan to attend college are great, my focus is to help those that have a career dream and a passion for that career goal, be it a college or trade school to start that journey.”

Durham’s philanthropy is well-known to the Saugatuck area community. She has contributed her time and resources toward everything from helping local handicapped people find affordable housing to making cookies and hot chocolate for the local Christmas Lighting Ceremony.

Most recently she sponsored the free outdoor movie at Coghlin Park to bring the community together through a fun-filled family event. She also is also a supporter of the annual Music in the Park event held during the summer in Saugatuck.

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For more information about the Mill Pond Realty/Laura Durham Scholarship program and its recipients, please call Laura Durham at: (269) 857-1477. The Mill Pond Realty office is located at 747 Water Street in Saugatuck, MI

Mill Pond Realty/Laura Durham Helps Students Follow Their Dreams

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