'I Am a Michaels Scholar' Campaign Showcases Resident Scholarship Recipients

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The Michaels Organization and its nonprofit affiliate The Michaels Organization Educational Foundation celebrate 25 years of 'giving back' by sharing stories of those who have benefitted from more than $4.6 million in college scholarships.

The greatest gift is the gift of an education

The year 2015 marks 25 years since The Michaels Organization’s founder and CEO Michael J. Levitt first created a scholarship program for residents of the affordable housing communities that his companies own and manage. Since then, more than 2,000 aspiring students have benefitted from more than $4.6 million in college scholarships, administered by The Michaels Organization Educational Foundation.

To celebrate this milestone, The Michaels Organization has kicked off its “I Am A Michaels Scholar” campaign, which tells the stories of some of these resident scholars, both in print and on video. The videos premiered Sept. 9 at The Michaels Organization Educational Foundation Golf Tournament, held in Marlton, NJ, an annual fundraiser for the scholarship program.

“We are so proud of these scholars and hope that by telling their stories, we will inspire and encourage more of our residents to pursue their dreams of higher education in the years to come,” said John J. O’Donnell, president of The Michaels Organization.

According to O’Donnell, “giving back” to the people and communities where The Michaels Organization works has been a core value ever since the organization’s first two companies were founded in 1973.

“We are invested in what matters most—housing, family, and education,” O’Donnell said. “What better way of giving back than with the gift of an education.”

Each year, all residents who live in The Michaels Organization's affordable, mixed-income and military housing communities are invited and encouraged to apply for scholarships. The scholarship funds, which are paid directly to the educational institution, can be used toward higher education at any accredited college, university, or vocational training program in the country, and students can reapply every year of their education.

All private donations raised from associates throughout The Michaels Organization’s business network are matched two-for-one by Michael Levitt and his wife Patricia Levitt.

To create the videos, The Michaels Organization engaged the help of a multi-year scholarship recipient, Rhasaan Nichols, who grew up in North Philadelphia at an affordable housing community owned and managed by The Michaels Organization. A graduate of Yale University, Nichols is now a filmmaker based in Los Angeles, whose company Nichols Makes Sense produces innovative and inspiring media, including documentaries.

The “I Am a Michaels Scholar” video stories and additional success stories can be found at http://www.themichaelsorg.com/foundation.

About The Michaels Organization Educational Foundation: The Michaels Organization Educational Foundation is a non-profit affiliate of The Michaels Organization, which administers educational scholarship programs open to residents of all affordable and military housing communities professionally managed by companies of The Michaels Organization. Now in its 25th year of awarding scholarships, The Michaels Organization Educational Foundation was the first of its kind in the affordable housing industry when it was established by Michael and Patricia Levitt in 1991. In 2006, the program was expanded to include residents of the military housing communities where Michaels owns or manages the family housing.

About The Michaels Organization: Headquartered in Marlton, NJ, The Michaels Organization is a privately-held family of 9 integrated but independent companies dedicated to excellence in affordable, mixed-financed, military, and student housing. Serving more than 115,000 residents in 360 communities across 35 states, the District of Columbia, and the U.S. Virgin Islands and with a portfolio valued at more than $4 billion, The Michaels Organization is a national leader in residential real estate with full-service capabilities in finance, development, construction, property management, and tax credit syndication.

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Laura Zaner
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