Eastern Michigan University establishes new scholarship for refugee students

Lada Protecheva, a refugee student forced to evacuate from Ukraine due to the Russian invasion, is currently a junior studying applied computer science. (Eastern Michigan University)

YPSILANTI, Mich. – Eastern Michigan University in partnership with Jewish Family Services of Washtenaw County has announced a scholarship for refugee students.

The New Future Fund helps students continue their university studies that were interrupted by war or other life-changing events.

EMU and JFS resettled and housed 12 Afghan families on the Ypsilanti university’s campus in December 2021 after they were forced to leave their home country. From that experience, the New Future Fund was launched and helps students cover tuition and housing while JFS provides support resources and services like clothing and English as second language classes.

Both EMU and JFS are actively searching for refugees to take part in the program, according to a release.

“The New Future Fund is designed to help students like Lada Protecheva, a refugee student forced to evacuate from Ukraine due to the Russian invasion,” vice president of EMU Advancement and executive director of the EMU Foundation Bill Shepard said in a release. “We hope to secure more donors so the New Future Fund can become a permanent scholarship to allow other students with circumstances similar to Lada’s to attend Eastern.”

Protcheva’s sister is an EMU alumna and helped coordinate her travel plans to start a new life in Michigan while studying at EMU. The junior is studying applied computer science.

“EMU helped me in all areas of my life because I came here with nothing,” Protcheva said in a statement. “Without education, you have fewer opportunities. My family couldn’t afford to send me here, and EMU helped me with my future.”

Protcheva said she hopes to get an internship and live and work in the United States following graduation.

“The New Future Fund scholarship offers a new beginning and opportunity to complete their education,” EMU President James Smith said in a release. " We’re optimistic we’ll find additional donors and funding to continue our efforts to help students achieve a promising future.”

To be considered for a New Future Fund Scholarship, students must have a GPA of at least 3.0.

Students must maintain a 2.0 GPA while at Eastern and must complete at least 12 credit hours per semester or six credits in the summer.

About the Author:

Meredith has worked for WDIV since August 2017 and was voted one of Washtenaw County's best journalists in 2019 by eCurrent's readers. She covers the community of Ann Arbor and has a Master's degree in International Broadcast Journalism from City University London, UK.