Scholarship Program




"The First Thanksgiving" (1915), by Jean Louis Gerome Ferris (American painter, 1863-1930).

In 2005, the Society of Mayflower Descendants in Michigan’s Board of Assistants established a scholarship program to assist junior members and general members under the age of 26 who have been accepted into an accredited two or four year higher education program or other post-high school certificate conferring program. 

 Juniors are those members who have been sponsored by a blood relative before age 18; and cease to be juniors after having attained the age of 25. Juniors can apply for regular membership at any age. Between age 25 and before age 26, a Mayflower descendant applying for this scholarship must be a regular member of the Michigan Society.

 The amounts of the scholarships are $3000, $2000, and $1000, paid to the financial office of the post-secondary college/university or certificate conferring program. 

 Submissions are by email only, in pdf or Word. Email your submission to  Contact your Scholarship Program Chair Kathleen Ripley Leo at for further clarification, as needed.

 The deadline for applications this year is May 1, 2022, with acceptance notice by at least June 15th for funds for the semester/quarter/certificate conferring program commencing after May 1. Applicant needs to either be approved for attendance, or on waiting list as happens at some college/universities. Funds are not for debt incurred in past or current semesters or certificate; funds are generally released in August to the financial aid office of school, or may depend on when the certificate conferring program begins. Funds are to be used for tuition, fees, books, labs, and to other university/college/trade school related expenses.

 Qualified post-secondary education schools are universities, colleges, and many certificate-conferring programs. These can be programs for nursing assistant, respiratory therapist, dental assistant, etc.; or accredited trade schools like automotive technology, fashion design, welding, computers and electronics careers. Consult with the Scholarship Program Chair to see if your program qualifies. Many of these programs train individuals to perform job-specific duties, and confer an end-degree certificate.


Contact your Scholarship Program Chair for further clarification. She is committed to be of service to you.

Chairman: Kathleen Ripley Leo           Submission deadline:  May 1, 2022

Submission by email to and includes:

  1. the application,
  2. the essay, and
  3. two letters from educators/tutors submitted along with the essay: at least one is an accredited English teacher at your school or as your tutor, stating they have read the essay and have given their critique of its contents

For 2022, the applicant will apply with the application; and then write an original 750-1000 word essay on the theme:

“My Mayflower Ancestor and What He/She Means to Me”

This essay will include:

1. Who is/are your ancestor(s) on the Mayflower? 

2. What characteristics do you speculate drove your Mayflower ancestor to travel on the Mayflower to the new world?

3. What drives you personally or professionally to enter the world of academics or the working world that requires a certificate? 

Suggested for research include but are not limited to: interviews with knowledgeable members of your family; online research such as or  

Also consider consulting: Of Plymouth Plantation, by William Bradford;  any of the Mayflower "Silver" books;  Mourt’s RelationThanksgiving: The Pilgrims' First Year in AmericaHere Shall I Die Ashore: Stephen Hopkins: Bermuda Castaway, Jamestown Survivor, and Mayflower Pilgrim; Making Haste from Babylon.

Scholarship information is posted in PDF -updated (16 Jan 2022).   The Scholarship application is posted in fillable PDF. Click the underlined links to download the files.

Any questions from possible applicants, their families, teachers, or counselors can be directed to Kathleen Ripley Leo, the Mayflower Society Scholarship Chair, at her email: