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The Michaels Organization Educational Foundation, celebrating its 30th anniversary, has announced that 18 Belvoir students living in the Villages at Belvoir have received college scholarships, totaling $93,000, according to Jennifer Watkins, Villages community director.

“There is a deep commitment to education at Michaels, and one of our cultural values is giving back to where we work,” said Dayra Conde, assistant vice president of Michaels Management. “Every donation we receive (through voluntary contributions by companies and private individuals) is doubled by The Michaels Organization’s founder and chairman, Michael Levitt, and his wife Pat Levitt.”

The total dollar amount of scholarship awarded for the 2020/2021 academic year is $1,259,000, a record high for the foundation, according to Conde.

“I was very surprised,” said math and computer science major Ethan Wilkins, who was awarded the maximum allowable $10,000 grant by the foundation. “I had applied for two previous years, and got 5k each time, and I was so surprised when I learned of the higher grant.”

Wilkins, graduating next spring, said he is either going to pursue a Ph.D. in mathematics or seek a job in cyber warfare.

Conde said Levitt created the nonprofit educational foundation in 1991, adding, “We are the only multifamily organization that has an educational foundation. He’s a big believer that education moves families forward,” she said.

Michaels, which assumed management of Belvoir’s private family housing five years ago, manages more than 370 communities across 11 installations. Scholarship recipients receive grants ranging from $1,000 to $10,000, which can be used toward educational expenses at any accredited college, university or vocational training school in the nation. Scholarships are awarded annually, and students may reapply each year of their undergraduate education for continuing grants.

Matriculated students in good standing academically at a community college, college, university or trade/technical school and residing in a Fort Belvoir Village, are eligible to apply. Applications are available at michaelsscholars.com.