By Lauren Hooks
Madison County – Mike and Anna Tuziw moved to Madison County in 2011 with the dream in place of starting a foundation that helped students gain a college education. Both Mike and Anna’s parents had not had much, but they did everything in their power to ensure that their children had an education.
This really impacted Mike and Anna, and as they moved to this new place, they wanted to honor their parents. They began to create an application to take to the high school, offering one student a $500 scholarship for their first year of college. Mike, as a retired air traffic controller, loved acronyms and came up with the name FATE foundation, or Future Achievement Through Education.
As Mike and Anna began receiving applications from students, one of their friends became interested in what they were doing. It was at this point the foundation began to grow and more donors became involved. The FATEful 20 scholarship was soon in the works, as Mike and Anna sought out 20 people willing to give $500. This allowed for the FATE Foundation to provide a $2500 scholarship for a single student that would consecutively contribute to their education for four years.
Today, the FATE Foundation is now a qualified charity.
Last year, FATE gave $17,500 in scholarships. This year, they hope to raise $25,000. There are donors from 14 different states and from local businesses. Any and all money donated to the FATE foundation goes directly to the students, as Mike and Anna pay for any of the foundation’s needs themselves.
These scholarships only go to students of Madison County, whether at the High School or Early College. Mike and Anna conduct personal interviews before choosing the final recipients, a time Mike enjoys because he gets to “meet them, feel their joy and passion.” Mike and Anna specifically look for students who exemplify service and leadership, that as Mike says, “will become an asset to society.”
Recently, Mike and Anna have become more intentional within the high school, leading an hour-long seminar on how to better create a personal statement. They hope these seminars will not only improve the applications they receive, but help students with other applications as well. They are also working with freshmen, helping them to build a better resume. Mike and Anna’s vision for the FATE Foundation is to “help kids do better,” as this is not just a scholarship.
Currently, FATE Foundation needs more donors to reach its goal of $25,000. Any donation, whether $10 or $500, goes directly to the students and is exponentially helpful. FATE Foundation can conduct recurring payments, which for the FATEful 20 scholarship is $42 a month for each donor. Anna commented that “if you have ever thought about donating, now is the time.” If you’re interested in donating or finding more out about FATE Foundation, they can be contacted and found at their website: https://fate.charity