Future Leaders 2022: Winners Announced!

13th annual scholarship opportunity for Northern Michigan Graduating Seniors

Congratulations to Abby Kovacevich, Maddy Stange, and Morgan Conner, and thank you to every student who applied! There are over 120 high schools in the 9&10 News viewing area so narrowing down to three winners is never easy: all of these students give hope that our future is in good hands!

Thank you to our sponsors Betten Baker GMC of Cadillac and Betten Baker Chrysler, Dodge, Jeep, Ram, of Cadillac, and specifically to Tracy and Tod Winkle for keeping this amazing opportunity going for 13 years! This scholarship was created to honor the students who normally wouldn’t be recognized: the underdogs with a vision for success; the hard workers that are productive outside of the classroom; and the influencers taking care of their communities. The Future Leaders 2022 is a Northern Michigan based scholarship offering $4,500 in aid and designed specifically for the ‘working students’ out there, making a difference within their local community and beyond. This unique scholarship is not based on GPA: student finalists were active in their communities and the winners were those that continued to demonstrate leadership despite social disruptions. Congratulations to each of our Class of 2022 Future Leaders!

Abby P. Kovacevich – Graduating from Cadillac High School, Abby will attend Grand Valley State University this fall with plans to pursue marketing. Abby shows leadership on and off the Soccer Field. Her philosophy for team success is to help better each member: to guide them, cheer them on, and to share in the responsibility of wins and losses.










Abby has led her friends and peers in volunteering for The Salvation Army, Project Christmas, highway cleanup, and a food drive, in addition to creating her own cancer fundraiser: Team Mackale. Team Mackale supported a local student fighting cancer by creating t-shirts to share the message “Nobody fights alone” and to raise funds to offset medical expenses. Abby says “We build together.”

Maddy Stange – Graduating from Cadillac High School, Maddy will be going to Johnson and Wales University in Providence, Rhode Island, this fall: where she has enrolled in an immersive baking and pastry program that includes entrepreneurship. Maddy would like to use her degree to open a bakery and to grow her heartwarming Maddy Cakes business.

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Maddy has been active in numerous academic and civic clubs while using her passion for baking and love of community to provide new opportunity in Cadillac: she started a baking club at Cadillac High School and a pay it forward program during the pandemic called Spreading Sunshine. Spreading Sunshine allowed community members to send cupcakes to front-line workers, family members, and friends. Maddy says “The most fulfilling part of owning a business is giving back to the community and making people smile with a cupcake.”

Morgan Conner – Graduating from Beal City High School, Morgan will be attending the University of Michigan this fall to pursue a major in Environmental/Civil Engineering and a minor is biochemistry. She has found educating students on agriculture rewarding and would like to use her education to focus on evolving agricultural practices to help the whole community.

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In addition to academic clubs, Morgan has been involved in numerous community projects: mental health awareness events, community cleanup events, fundraising for a local cancer survivor, and community blood drives. She started an upcycling non-profit called Ollie-Braids, when she was in second grade, that allowed the community to create toys and donate them to local animal shelters. Morgan says “I work beside the students I tutor so we can achieve goals as a team.”

Thanks again to our sponsors and all of the parents, mentors, and educators, that have led these students to become Northern Michigan’s Future Leaders.

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Categories: Best of the Class, Contests