Arizona couple moving home

Posted on March 13, 2017

The Community Foundation is thrilled to announce our latest “Come Home” reverse scholarship program award recipients. The first $10,000 award of 2017 has been given to Brad and Megan Perry, current residents of Arizona. 

The “Come Home” reverse scholarship program is an innovative talent attraction program launched by the Community Foundation of St. Clair County in 2016.  It pays recent college grads with STEAM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts, Math) degrees up to $10,000 to move back to St. Clair County to live and work.

“Sure, Phoenix has been nice to us. We live in a lovely home, with great new friends, but it’s not home. It’s not St. Clair County,” says Brad Perry. “St. Clair County provides more than family, or friends, or professional potential. It inspires. It encourages.”

Brad is a teacher in English and Speech. He would love nothing more than to teach locally, instruct a drumline, have speech & debate club and lend a hand in theater productions. His boundless enthusiasm will help impact positive change.

“Driving under a “Port Huron” highway sign meant I was home. St. Clair County was a great place to grow up and has always held a special place in my heart,” says Megan Perry. “Nostalgia aside, I see St. Clair County as a place of opportunity.”

With a Master’s Degree in Biological Sciences, Megan plans to use her skills as a teacher and scientist to affect positive change in St. Clair County. Her degree has a focus on conservation and community engagement. She hopes to start an environmental club at the school where she will teach or develop a community program alongside partners in the environmental education network, environmental services, or parks and recreation.

“Small communities like ours need talented, educated professionals to move back home, and our innovative approach to addressing student debt as a talent attraction incentive is paying off,” said Hale Walker, chair of the Come Home award Selection Committee. “The number and quality of applicants for the award program has surpassed the Foundation’s expectations and current budget.”  Walker went on to note that the only downside is that the Community Foundation can’t keep up with interest and demand for the program, which is exceeding expectations.

The Community Foundation believes in attracting motivated and ambitious college graduates back to St. Clair County. The Come Home program has mass appeal to graduates who want to move back to their family and friends, back to the lake-effect snow, beaches, back to the Blue Water Bridge; back home. The Community Foundation supports this program through the generosity of donors eager to support this talent retention initiative.

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