Lee Essie and Charlie McMillan, Jr. Scholarships

In categories: Scholarships

June 13, 2014

At a very early age in Alabama, Lee Essie Smith was a self-taught musician. After losing her mother as a young teenager, she began putting her God-given musical talent to work as a pianist for several churches. By the time she graduated from high school, she had learned the cosmetology trade and met Charlie McMillan, Jr.

 

Very soon after they married, he became an Army Air Corpman during WWII. After his tour-of-duty, Mr. McMillan traveled the United States as a pullman porter before moving to Saginaw, Michigan with his young family.

 

In Saginaw, Mrs. McMillan worked as a licensed beautician and a pianist for several local churches. Mr. McMillan worked full-time at General Motors Grey Iron foundry – a career spanning 41 years. At the same time, Mr. McMillan worked several part-time jobs. The most memorable was selling gospel sheet music.

 

When the youngest of the couple’s eight children began high school, Mrs. McMillan enrolled in a licensed practical nursing program and Mr. McMillan increased participation in the Saginaw Auxiliary Police.

 

Always working at least two jobs at the same time, Mrs. McMillan retired from her nursing career in Saginaw General Hospital’s Intensive Care Unit in 1986. In 1999, she retired from Mt. Olive Baptist Church where she served as a pianist for 43 years. Although retired, Mrs. McMillan continued to mentor her grandchildren, musicians, beauticians and students pursuing medical careers until she went home to be with the Lord in April 2000.

 

After his wife’s death, Mr. McMillan continued his community service with the Democratic Party, Habitat for Humanity and Mt. Olive Baptist Church as an usher. Although he did not serve very long in the military, Mr. McMillan continues to exemplify the values and physical energy of the “Army Strong” slogan. He is the patriarch of the family – always dapper – and a regular attendee at church services.

 


 

Qualifications (Active/Inactive Military and Military Veteran Scholarship)

● Minimum 2.5 GPA
● Saginaw County resident
● High school senior or college student
● Pursuing an undergraduate, graduate degree or vocational studies
● Applicant must be active or inactive military or a military veteran
● Part- or full-time enrollment

 


 

Qualifications (Cosmetology Scholarship)

● Minimum 2.5 GPA
● Saginaw County resident
● High school senior or college student
● Pursuing an undergraduate, graduate degree or vocational studies in cosmetology
● Part- or full-time enrollment

 


 

Qualifications (Medical Scholarship)

● Minimum 2.5 GPA
● Saginaw County resident
● High school senior or college student
● Pursuing an undergraduate, graduate degree or vocational studies in a medical field of study
● Part- or full-time enrollment

 


 

Qualifications (Music Scholarship)

● Minimum 2.5 GPA
● Saginaw County resident
● High school senior or college student
● Pursuing an undergraduate, graduate degree or vocational studies
● Applicant must have at least one year of practical experience or training in instrumental music
● Part- or full-time enrollment

 


 

Evaluation Criteria for Lee Essie and Charlie McMillan, Jr. Scholarships

Special skills (30); career goals (20); financial need (20); letters of recommendation (10); scholastic record (10); overall involvement in community, school and work activities (5); leadership (5). Nontraditional students may be given preference. Interviews may be requested.

 

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