Finding Purpose in the Scholarship Journey

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November is National Scholarship Month, a time to raise awareness of scholarship opportunities and encourage future students and their parents or guardians to tap into this form of financial assistance to supplement ever-increasing college costs.

Scholarships can be a lifeline for many college students. Families in the U.S. reported spending $25,313 on college expenses in the 2021-22 academic year. Four in 10 (41%) families reported borrowing for college costs. Many families surveyed (73%) turned to scholarships and grants to help with education expenses.*

Huntington has been the proud sponsor of scholarship programs to help high school seniors prepare for their college trek. Below are the two recipients that received scholarships and their stories.

Carl D.T. Jackson, 2011 Cleveland Cavaliers/Huntington Scholarship recipient Jonae Maxey, 2016 S.W.A.G Scholarship recipient

Cleveland Cavaliers and Huntington Scholarship

For more than 30 years, Huntington has partnered with the Cleveland Cavaliers to award annual scholarships to 10 high-achieving northeast Ohio high school seniors. Each year, qualifying students apply to receive a $2,000 scholarship. Entries are evaluated based on academic performance documented through high school transcripts, ACT/SAT scores, a letter of recommendation, community service activities, and a 500-word essay.

Carlin D.T. Jackson of Cleveland Heights, Ohio, received one of these awards in 2011. Carlin’s older sister received the Cavaliers and Huntington Scholarship in 2008, and after witnessing how the scholarship helped her in her first year of college, Carlin said, “I was determined to apply and receive this scholarship myself.” He used the funds to pay for his textbooks.

Now a Case Western Reserve University graduate, Carlin is the founder and principal consultant of Theo Wyes David, Ltd., a consultancy firm specializing in business strategy, software engineering, systems architecture, and operations.

“As the beneficiary of several college scholarships, I have challenged myself to return the investment and give back to my community through mentorship, working with students, and working with entrepreneurs who are just getting started in business,” Carlin said.

Since the inception of the Cleveland Cavaliers and Huntington Scholarship program, more than half a million dollars have been awarded to more than 300 college students.

Application and official rules for this year’s Cleveland Cavaliers and Huntington Scholarship program will be announced soon. To learn more about this scholarship program, visit here.

S.W.A.G. Scholarship

While getting straight As is commendable, it is not always an indicator of leadership. That is why Huntington established a program focusing on young scholars who showcase strengths in other areas.

The S.W.A.G. (Students Wired for Achievement and Greatness) Scholarship program in partnership with the Michigan Chronicle newspaper, targets deserving Detroit students with a grade point average of at least 2.25, who are passionate about leadership and community service. As part of this annual program, 15 awardees receive scholarships between $2,500 and $25,000. Award levels include six scholarships for $2,500, five for $5,000, two for $10,000 and one for $15,000. One student receives the grand prize scholarship of $25,000.

Since launching the S.W.A.G. scholarships in 2015, Huntington has provided more than $1 million in scholarship funds to Detroit area students. Many of these young men and women have interned at Huntington, become members of advisory boards, and several have even accepted jobs with the bank.

Jonae Maxey received a S.W.A.G. scholarship in 2016. While enrolled at the University of Michigan, she founded Maxey Real Estate Investments, LLC, a real estate development company in Detroit. Jonae interned at Huntington in 2018 and later joined Huntington’s Emerging Leaders Advisory Board, which the bank established in 2021 to bridge the generational gap in modern banking and finance.

“My S.W.A.G. scholarship provided me with opportunities to network and learn from dynamic professionals while in college,” Jonae said. “This experience gave me the courage, as a college student, to establish companies and organizations that focus on transforming the lives of others through education, financial literacy, real estate investments, studying abroad through volunteerism, and more.”

After graduation, Jonae accepted a job with Huntington as a community coordinator in Detroit.

The application period for S.W.A.G. runs February through April. Look for more information during this period at

Don’t miss out

The goal of these programs is to build confidence, ensure a better future for teens, provide a village of support for parents and educators, and build strong future communities and business leaders.

Students, parents, and guardians are encouraged to learn more about opportunities to gain financial support for college through scholarships. And during National Scholarship Month, let’s join the movement to improve educational opportunities and educational achievement across our country.

* From annual study by Sallie Mae® and Ipsos called “How America Pays for College 2022”