United Way of Southwest Michigan announces 2019 Live United Scholarship winners

The LIVE UNITED Youth Scholarship Award recognizes one self-nominated winner from Berrien County and one from Cass County who demonstrates a commitment to volunteerism through innovation, dedication, and advocacy for community improvement throughout their high school career.

This year’s Berrien County winner is Caleigh Dahn. Caleigh is a home-schooled senior who will be attending Northern Michigan University in Marquette this fall. Her volunteer work includes raising $15,000 for the Coloma Amicus Dog Park as well as helming its construction for her Girl Scout Gold Award. She also organizes food drives for area pantries, makes cancer clinic blankets, helped with United Way’s School Supply Spectacular, attended a sea turtle conservation volunteer program with Outward Bound, and worked on repair and conservation projects in Grand Teton and Yellowstone National Parks.

“Seeing the impact that I have on other people by doing simple things opens my mind up to how others live differently because of their circumstances. This motivates me to continue volunteering because I know that simple things done by individuals make a big difference,” says Caleigh.

Our Cass County winner is Bailey Anson, an outgoing senior from Edwardsburg High School. Bailey has organized weekend backpacks of food for children in need, set up awareness events for Students Against Destructive Decisions (SADD), cleaned up trash along area highways with the Edwardsburg Lions Club, and volunteered at local basketball and softball camps for youth. She plans to continue her volunteer work when she attends Cornerstone University in Grand Rapids this fall, and into her adult life.

“I intend to find volunteer work within my college community and later on in life whether that is through church, the local food pantry, a homeless shelter, a club or organization based on community service,” says Bailey. “I see volunteerism as a huge part of my life ahead of me. Not only does it impact the community and people who are in need, it helps me to know I am doing my best to serve and give back to those less fortunate and to the community where I live.”

Each winner has received a $1,000 scholarship made out to their chosen college on their behalf. The Berrien County winners were chosen by a panel of their peers through the T.E.A.M. (Teams Exhibiting Able Minds) program with Berrien Community Foundation, and the Cass County winners were chosen by the Y.A.C. (Youth Advisory Council) at the Michigan Gateway Foundation. The winners will be officially recognized at the United Way Volunteer Recognition Event on October 3, 2019. For more information, visit uwsm.org/nominate-a-volunteer. 


United Way of Southwest Michigan fights for the Health, Education and Financial Stability of every person in every community. We have the influence and relationships to make sustainable change a reality. By harnessing resources from corporate, nonprofit and public partners, we provide immediate assistance to our most vulnerable populations while addressing the root causes of our community's longstanding challenges and changing lives for the better. To join the fight—through giving, advocacy and volunteering—visit www.uwsm.org.


Ryan CheeversComment