Taylor Idema first ever CMU finalist for prestigious scholarship

Harry S. Truman scholarship winners will be announced mid-April

Courtesy Photo | Taylor Idema Taylor Idema graduated from Mount Pleasant High School this spring and plans to attend Central Michigan University this fall.

Mount Pleasant junior, Taylor Idema is Central Michigan University's first finalist for the highly competitive Harry S. Truman Scholarship.

“It really is just such an honor and a blessing to be even considered for this scholarship,” she said. “There have been people at CMU that have competed for this award, but I'm the first one to be selected as a finalist."

One of 189 finalists, Idema first heard about the scholarship as a freshman in 2019 from Maureen Harke, director of National Scholarships. Idema said her leadership positions and experiences at CMU helped her prepare for and achieve the recognition.

“Through all those experiences, it showed me a lot about public service, civic engagement, and how big projects take an entire community to come together,” she said.

Idema said the application process was extensive. She had to complete 14 essays explaining her experience in leadership, public service and issues that are important to her in addition to a policy proposal.

Idema said she was required to send her application to CMU before submitting it to the foundation.

The $30,000 scholarship is available to students planning to attend graduate school and pursuing a career in public service. Idema said the money would help her pay for a law degree.

“A lot of the people who get this award go on to be senators or go on to be presidents,” Idema said. “It's a very prestigious group to be a part of.”

The Harry S. Truman Scholarship Foundation receives over 800 applications every year but awards only 55 - 65 students in the United States. University's can nominate up to four students, and three transfers, for the scholarship.

The award recipients will be announced by the Harry S. Truman Foundation on April 15.