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Release Date: 
Thursday, September 2, 2010

HFCC student wins Garden Club of Dearborn academic scholarship!

Henry Ford Community College (HFCC) Student Kendra James of Detroit had no idea that the earth angels were looking out for her.

The Garden Club of Dearborn—the oldest service group in Dearborn—presented James with a $500 scholarship in late August to help her complete her studies at the college.

‘I was very surprised to receive it,’ James said, adding that this important support ‘helps reduce my student loans and comes at a great time.’

Mary Bugeia, the education chairperson of the Garden Club of Dearborn, presented James with the scholarship in late August in the Biology Department of HFCC. The two spent time in the Environmental Lab examining various plants and other areas of the facility.

Bugeia, like many in the Garden Club who strongly support Henry Ford Community College, believes it’s critical that students receive this kind of support to study the sciences.   

‘The sciences play such a huge role in society today. By providing this scholarship, we hope to promote the importance of studying science in college and as a career choice, and support the missions and value of the Garden Club of Dearborn,’ she explained.

John Lewandowski, executive director of HFCC’s Office of Development, said that support from organizations like the Garden Club of Dearborn is critical to ensure that students succeed at pivotal moments in their college careers.

‘The Club continues to serve as a great model to individuals and organizations about how important these scholarships are to students. Without this kind of support, many deserving students are unable to attend college, so we’re thrilled that the Club has once again made this commitment,’ he said.

The presentation of this scholarship to James comes several months before the Club’s annual Holly Berry Brunch, which serves as the organization’s primary fundraising event for the year. This year’s lunch takes on even more significance: 2010 represents the Garden Club’s 95th anniversary and service to the local community. The brunch is Saturday, Dec. 4, 2010, at 10 a.m. at the Dearborn Inn.  Founded in 1915, the Club started to help convey to the children of Dearborn the importance of the land and environment in this urban landscape. During the first five years of the Club’s existence, Mrs. Henry Ford served as Club president. Some of the Club’s major accomplishments include the establishment of the library system in Bryant Library in 1919; funding of major restoration projects throughout the community, such as the Fair Lane Mansion; providing hands-on educational experiences in horticulture areas for students; and funding the garden internship program, which continues to flourish today.

The Club also works to raise funds for scholarships at the University of Michigan-Dearborn and HFCC. Since 1999, the Garden Club of Dearborn has presented more than $23,000 in scholarships to deserving HFCC students. For more information on the Garden Club of Dearborn, please visit


About Henry Ford Community College

Henry Ford Community College in Dearborn, MI is a comprehensive public community college serving about 20,000 students each fall and winter semester in southeast Michigan.  HFCC is dedicated to preparing people for a rapidly changing world and workplace by offering more than 100 associate’s degree university transfer and career programs.  HFCC offers high-quality, innovative programs to meet the educational and training needs of the culturally and racially diverse population of southeast Michigan. In addition to providing a pool of highly skilled workers for Detroit-area employers, HFCC also specializes in customized workforce development training for major businesses and industrial corporations.

Henry Ford Community College is the only higher education institution to carry on the name and legacy of Henry Ford. Since its founding in 1938 as Fordson Junior College, HFCC has been the gateway to higher education for thousands of students who are seeking affordable, high-quality post-secondary education.