Judy Watson Olson Education Enrichment Award

The Judy Watson Olson Education Enrichment Award was created in honor of former Grow & Lead President and CEO, Judy Watson Olson.  The $500 award assists Upper Peninsula K-12 schools, teachers, or organizations with programs that help youth succeed academically.

Award Criteria

Applicants must be from Upper Peninsula school districts, College Access Networks or other youth-serving organizations.  Selection will be based on how the program addresses an unmet need, how it helps youth succeed academically, the number of youth served, and other compelling data as determined by the selection committee. There are no restrictions as to how many times an applicant is chosen, but applicants may not repeat the purpose of a previously received award.

The recipient organization CEO will be responsible for ensuring that award funds are utilized according to the approved project purpose.  A brief evaluation report, including financial reporting, will be required.  Awardees must be nonprofit organizations. The deadline to apply is Friday, March 5.

Paper applications can be mailed or emailed to:

Grow & Lead: Community and Youth Development
712 Chippewa Square, Suite 200
Marquette, MI 49855
Or e-mail a signed copy to Karen Thompson at:  kthompson@glcyd.org

If you have any questions, please feel free to contact Karen Thompson at kthompson@glcyd.org.  

Previous Recipients

2020 – Bessemer Area School District

The Peer To Peer program matches non-disabled students with students with disabilities and teaches all involved to value each other, along with being more “mindful” that all individuals have the ability to contribute positively to relationships, life, community events and transitional events in some way, shape or form. Educational programming for Special Education students should include goals for improving social competency and academics. The Peers assist, teach, role model and mediate in interventions which lead to greater opportunities for these student

2019 – Tahquamenon Area Schools

The history club received funding for materials and travel costs to attend the regional history day competition at Lake Superior State University. Students researched a topic related to history, and created an exhibit board, performance, paper, website or documentary on the topic.

2018 – Teaching Family Homes 

Youth at the Lakes Area Group Home in Newberry will build and launch their own rockets. The rocket project will take math and science out of the digital classroom and bring it to life. The hands-on STEM project will assist the youth in learning how to plan, set and achieve goals in addition to giving youth the experience of being a part of a team on a group project.

2017 – Gwinn Area Public Schools

Mrs. Wagner used the funds to purchase a complete non-fiction set of books that will cover reading levels A-P. This will allow for her classroom to have reading materials at each student’s independent reading level.

2016 – Friends of Munising Public Library

The Friends used the funds for the Reach Out and Read (ROR) early literacy program. They purchased Scholastic books that were distributed at preventative care visits to parents of children age birth to kindergarten in Alger County.

2015 – Delta County Suicide Prevention Task Force
The Task Force used the award to expand suicide prevention mental health services to students attending the Student Success Center at Escanaba Area Schools.

2014 – Clear Lake Education Center
The Center used the award to update and expand ropes course equipment, allowing more school and private youth groups to access activities at Clear Lake.