Williston Resident Starts Scholarship Fund For Students Who Lost A Parent


March 25, 2020 | View PDF

WILLISTON: Dealing with the loss of a parent is difficult on many levels.

Having personally seen the kind of effect that type of loss can have on a child or student, Tieheena Lemerond, of Williston, decided that she wanted to help in whatever way she could.

“I began the Zoe Hart Scholarship Fund to help senior students who have lost one or both parents during their childhood, fulfill their higher education goals.

Several people influenced my decision to create the Zoe Hart Scholarship Fund Organization. 1) A friend in WA who lost her husband in the Military and was left to raise her three teenage children alone 2) A friend from Michigan who lost his wife to breast cancer and was left to raise his three elementary age boys alone 3) My granddaughter, Zoe, who lost her mother to an accident when Zoe was only two years old.

I’ve seen firsthand the struggles these families have gone through both emotionally and financially. By creating this organization and working with local community members and businesses to raise funds to support the scholarship, we can take a large burden off the shoulders of many students and families.

When creating the scholarship fund, my overall goals have been to 1) Bring awareness to the needs of families who have experienced this life changing tragedy 2) Assist both the student and their parents in ensuring these young people are able to get the higher education they need and desire without putting more financial burden on them and 3) Helping to make an impact and growing this Nonprofit organization, the ‘Zoe Hart Scholarship Fund,’ so that we are able to help even more graduating seniors in future years to come.”

The Zoe Hart Scholarship Fund is available for high school seniors in Michigan, Minnesota or North Dakota. Applicants must have lost either one or both of their parents and maintain at least a 2.75 GPA.

“Students apply by writing a 300- to 600-word essay explaining how the death of their parent has impacted their life,” Lemerond said. “They must also state their education goal in the essay.”

Lemerond’s goal is to award a minimum of four scholarships. The dollar amounts will vary depending upon need, essay content and the determination by the scholarship committee. However, Lemerond advised, “the minimum amount will be $1000.”

Lemerond hopes to continue building the scholarship fund over the coming years so that she can help as many graduating seniors in this situation as possible.

Terri Pemberton, grandmother to Zoe Hart and mother to Hart’s mother, told another Michigan publication she wholeheartedly approves of Lemerond’s actions in creating the organization.

“I am in complete support of the scholarship, and I’m happy that the scholarship will be able to help students and families who have already lost so much or been through such a difficult time,” she said.

A complete list of criteria for the scholarship application can be found at http://www.expressingwords.com.

The organization is currently looking for and accepting donations of all sizes. The organization is a 501 C3 nonprofit and all donations are tax-deductible.

For more information, visit http://www.expressingwords.com or email Lemerond at [email protected].


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