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Building A Better World is now a 501 c-3 Non Profit Organization

As of January 1, 2018 – you may claim all donations to Building A Better World Scholarship on your personal or business income taxes.  Please go here for more information on our Scholarship.

Federal Tax ID # 82-2399098

What exactly does 501 c-3 Non Profit Status mean? For Us – For You?  For Oakridge High School graduates?

  • Tax Deduction Your donation is now fully tax deductible on your personal 1040 tax form.
  • Business Tax Deductions – Small Businesses and Corporations may now donate directly to our scholarship and provide donation options to their employees.  All of this is tax deductible.
  • Early College Students and Promise Scholarship Winners – BBW will hold scholarships of Early College Students and Muskegon Promise Scholarship winners until they move onto their next collegiate stop. Without non profit status these kids would not be able to recoup the benefits of both scholarships.  Since we are non profit we can issue the scholarship checks to the winners when they go onto university.
  • Scholarship Aid Displacement – Many universities practice Scholarship Aid Displacement; this is not in the students best interest.   At such places, scholarships like ours, when added to a student’s financial aid package, reduces the school’s grant total by an equal amount; students attending such institutions would not benefit financially from our Scholarship.  Being a non-profit, if a school employs such a practice, we can issue a scholarship check directly to the student, ensuring that they receive full financial benefits.
  • Checks Donation checks must now be made out to Building A Better World Scholarship instead of to Oakridge High School.
  • Donations – Donations, cash or check, may still be dropped off, or mailed to  Oakridge High School– 5493 East Hall Road – Muskegon, MI 49442 – c/o Bob Wood – or you may donate on this website through Pay Pal.  All donations will receive an official receipt for tax purposes.

Building A Better World Scholarship is currently incorporated at Chase Bank in Grand Haven, Michigan 49417.  Our Board of Directors is made up of four current Oakridge School District teachers (Bob Wood, Kelly Carlson, Kim Wolcott, and Alicia Parker) a retired OSD teacher (Pat Schroeder) and three past Scholarship Winners – (Jordan “Holter” Milham (2007),  Dominique “Jessen” Bunker (2014), and Paula Shay (2015). 

Please contact Bob Wood  Pat Schroeder, or Jordan Milham for further information.   Thank you for taking a look…we hope to have you on board 🙂

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2017 Building A Better World Winners

Marek Brott, Catherine Jenkins, Madison Dutton

BBW 2017

Congratulations Ladies!  You each have won a $2000 award from Building A Better World Scholarship.  Please go here to learn more about the history of our Scholarship. 

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Catherine Jenkins – 2017 BBW Scholarship Winner

Below are excerpts from Catherine Jenkin’s winning essay for the Global Awareness portion of the 2017 Building A Better World Scholarship.  Go here to find the 2017 BBW Winners.  

Global Awareness is a National Obligation – “I believe that becoming globally aware is an obligation that we, as a first world country, need to uphold.  We have the luxury of not being faced with problems that third world countries are faced with such as malnutrition, lack of women’s rights, or human rights in general, diseases, and many other problems. Having that luxury forces a humanitarian responsibility upon us to educate and awake ourselves to the problems of foreign countries.”

Close Up opened my Eyes – “One thing I was involved with that opened my eyes to being globally aware was Close Up.  Close Up is a foundation that takes groups of students to Washington, D.C. to tour and learn about your place in the government. Going with Mr. Wood, we were pulled off the program for the D.C. Central Kitchen …Working in the kitchen allowed me to see people who have gotten into trouble before and people who have had a hard life. When I was cutting potatoes, I was thinking about how many people we would feed with them just because I came and spent time volunteering.”

I plan to Study and to Teach Abroad – “After I am graduated with my Associate’s Degree at Muskegon Community College, I plan on attending Grand Valley State University and enrolling in their study abroad program. I think it would be amazing to go to South America or Africa during a study abroad semester. At Grand Valley, I plan on getting my certification for teaching with a major in mathematics and a double minor in English and political science. I plan on teaching abroad my first few years of teaching.”

“I honestly have no preference on where I go simply because I want to go everywhere.” Catherine Jenkins

My biggest goal – to Awaken the Younger Generation – “After teaching abroad, I plan on coming back to the United States and teaching high school.  I plan on working to make my students more aware of the issues that are going on globally. I would love to take them on trips like I went on to Alabama and Washington D.C.. My biggest goal is to help awaken the younger generations to what is happening globally and to teach them how to be active in their government and community.”


Thank you Catherine – This world needs inspirational young teachers like you.

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Marek Brott – 2017 BBW Scholarship Winner

Below are excerpts from Marek Brott’s winning essay for the Independent Travel portion of the 2017 Building A Better World Scholarship.  Go here to find the 2017 BBW Winners.  


Travel is a beautiful thing – “Travel is a beautiful thing. It opens the eyes of those who go and see new lands. Whether it be their own country or another, seeing a new place for the first time is always exciting. You wonder what the lives of those who live there are like, you wonder what it would be like to live there, and you admire the natural beauty of what is before you. Travel can change your point of view or at least how you see things in life.”

To make anyplace I set up my hat – “Traveling wakes people up, and makes them realize that their world, is not the whole world. It makes people realize that the world does not revolve around them, and that there is more to life than just living life on the sidelines. They can contribute and should contribute to make their home greater, and give their community pride. My goal for me, involving my community, is to make any place that I set up my hat to be full of life and a great place to be. I want to contribute and make a difference, wherever I go.”

All my heart and soul  – “I would love with all my heart and soul to go to Montana. I have been to West Yellowstone, but that was only a sliver of Montana. I want to see all of one of the great states of the west. I want to go to Glacier National Park, ride horses at a dude ranch, visit cities like Bozeman, Billings, Missoula, Whitefish, Helena, and many more. I want to submerge myself into the culture of the people of Montana.”

Coming Home  – “I think travel is great for the soul, but at the end of the day, nothing is better than coming home and taking your new memories back with you.”


Thanks Marek – have fun in Big Sky Country

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Madison Dutton – 2017 BBW Scholarship Winner

Below are excerpts from Madison Dutton’s winning essay for the Global Awareness portion of the 2017 Building A Better World Scholarship.  Go here to find the 2017 BBW Winners.  

Global Awareness is key to understanding – “Global awareness is key to understanding the commonalities and differences among people. Too often we think there is only one way to do something.   But we don’t all dress the same, speak the same language, eat the same foods, or celebrate the same holidays. Being globally aware allows us to learn and appreciate a new perspective. When we learn about other cultures, we realize there is more than one approach to life. It has us move outside our comfort zone and find new ways of thinking.”

My foreign exchange sisters – My family hosted exchange students my sophomore and junior year of high school and it was the best experience I was ever able to participate in. Not only did it bring me two lovely sisters, Klara and Stef, but it also taught me more about myself, people, cultures and the world in general. They brought new experiences to my life. Through their stories, we were able to learn about first hand encounters of issues from around the world.”

I am going to Ferris to become a Nurse –In the fall, I will be attending Ferris State University to become a nurse. While attending college, I want to take my volunteerism global through the Study Abroad program Ferris offers. I plan to take any medical skills I will have learned and apply them in a third world country where they may have limited or no access to hospitals or doctor clinics.”

Once I graduate college – “Once I graduate college, I plan to continue my practices in third world countries. I want to partner with a medical program that spends time traveling to other countries and offers assistance. As I travel, I will document my experiences with pictures and information posted to some form of Social Media offering an insight to others of what is happening outside of our country. Upon return from my experiences it is my hope that my social media posts will have many people interested in my experiences; allowing me to share more and raise awareness of global issues.”


Thank you Madison – the world need’s nurses who are AWAKE!

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