2014 CCAA Scholars Recipients

During the Alumni Awards Banquet & Presentation at Reunion Weekend, the CCAA honored the first three recipients of the CCAA Scholars Program. The students were awarded scholarships based on their academic merit and notable affinity for Columbia College. Meet these inspiring students:

Michelle Henderson Holland

Like many Columbia College students, Michelle Henderson Holland is a nontraditional student who is championing hurdles. Juggling family responsibilities and a two-hour round trip commute to campus, Michelle maintains a 3.87 grade point average. “Starting college at 40 is scary,” she admits. “I have accomplished more than I thought possible as a role model to my kids and foster kids. It is such a blessing.” She is majoring in social services and business from Columbia College-Lake of the Ozarks.

“Being the first recipient in the nation of the CCAS Scholars Program is more than just an honor to me. I have juggled work, caring for my mom during her battle with breast cancer and chemo and winning, my own health and family issues, and an ongoing 3 year custody battle for my granddaughter in foster care in another county. My daughter, son-in-law, my son Austin and an 11 year old foster daughter were all at the banquet to see me presented with the award. Knowing the struggles I had faced and obstacles I had overcome, they each saw that through faith, hard work and believing in yourself, you can turn a dream into reality. While this scholarship will allow me to see my dream become a reality, even more important it served to start a fire in my daughter who started online classes and vowed to finish, and to my foster daughter, who like many, are scared to dream, now has a dream and a role model. To have hope when all hope was lost is the greatest blessing of all."

Lauren Jaeger

Lauren Jaeger is committed to success – and Columbia College. As a Day Campus student, Lauren is involved on campus as a community consultant, student ambassador and an officer of Columbia College’s Student Missouri Teacher Association chapter, all while maintaining a 4.0 grade point average. She expects to graduate May 2015. “Columbia College is truly my home away from home,” she says. “My involvement has made me feel even more connected to Columbia College.” She is majoring in communication with a minor in elementary education.

“First and foremost, it is an absolute honor to be a CCAA Scholars Program recipient. The Columbia College Alumni Association’s contribution to my education through this scholarship is greatly appreciated. Through the Scholars Program, my eyes have been opened to how I can be involved at Columbia College even after I graduate through the CCAA. I used to know very little about the CCAA, but now I see that it is an organization, which I will hopefully be a part of soon, that strives to connect Columbia College’s alumni throughout the country and advance the college. No matter where our loyal alumni come from or where they are going, every member of this association is proud to be a Columbia College Cougar which makes me so proud to be a CCAA Scholars Program Recipient as well as a Columbia College Cougar myself. We are CC!”

Shannon Sare

Deeply impacted by the deaths of her brother and her mentor, Shannon Sare has made a profound commitment to her future. “My brother was extremely proud of me considering I’m the first in my family to attend college, and my mentor had attended Columbia College and thought it was a good fit for me,” she says. As a senior majoring in criminal justice at Columbia College-Denver, Shannon excels with a 3.3 grade point average. “Columbia College means a brighter future and an opportunity to graduate for myself and for those who have believed in me.”

“It is an honor to call myself a CCAA Scholar recipient. I send my gratitude and appreciation to everyone who has made this possible. Being a recipient of this distinguished award and the experiences that followed has meant the world to me.”