UC Merced * MSSM Friendship Cookies/Scholarships
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Dedicated to serving the community as Melanie, Stanley, Stuart, and Michelle would have.


Friendship Scholarship Update:

One Friendship Scholarship will be awarded to a high school senior graduating spring 2009!

Scholarship Applications will be accepted January 1, 2009 through April 15, 2009 - all applications must be post-marked on or before April 15, 2009.

Who is eligible?   Every student accepted into a four-year college. No GPA requirement. No sports / student clubs / special interests required.  No income requirement – ANY student is eligible.  Preference will be given to a Merced Union High Applicant, however.

The HEART of the Friendship Scholarship: First, an applicant must demonstrate friendship qualities.  These qualities are described through the applicant’s personal letter on the meaning of friendship, and what it has meant in their life.

A friend of the applicant, who is a peer, and close in age must write a letter of recommendation, about the friendship qualities of the applicant. Some of these qualities may include a devotion to serve others, a commitment to improve our community, and a sense of love, loyalty, ethics, and compassion.

We are looking for young people who have shown that they already give of themselves to others.  We want to help them achieve their education in a variety of fields, at the college or university of their choice, knowing that they have a strong likelihood of further enriching our world in years to come. We are looking for great friends, knowing they will enhance their communities and their professions everywhere, touching the lives of others and making a difference! This tremendous diversity has one thing uniting them: these people care about others.

Friendship scholarships are awarded at $4,000 each, and renew annually for four years of college for students maintaining a 2.5 GPA and a full-time course load.

Applications for Friendship Scholarships are accepted each year starting January 1st, and must be postmarked by April 15th. All applications should include your college acceptance letter (this must be received for the scholarship to be awarded). Application forms and information on how to best complete your application can all be downloaded here. The application and format are the same from year to year. 

A Note from Christine McFadden:

May 6, 2007

To all the wonderful people who have written after they’ve seen or read about the MSSM Friendship Scholarship Foundation in the recent national Magazine and TV coverage by Ms. Oprah Winfrey: Thank you for your kind letters, sharing, and continued support. Many have inquired about applying for a Friendship Scholarship. I want to thank you for your interest but need to clarify that the deadline (each year) is April 15th, and closed for 2007. In addition, at this time the Friendship Scholarship is only available locally, primarily because there aren’t funds to open it nationwide. We tried, but without major public financial support I simply can’t do more and the Foundation must abide by the current Friendship Scholarship program to fulfill our goals as defined for our IRS granted 501(c)3 non-profit charity status. (Fundraising has been a steep learning curve for me). There are so many wonderful young people out there that it is both inspiring to me to continue my work and that of the Foundation (more people like my children! Yes, I want to help!), and sometimes frustrating because ultimately, I can’t reach out to each and every one of you. Please know that I’m working hard to make the MSSM Foundation successful and that if I cannot help you directly now that I wish you my best, with a hug, and hope in some small way we help each other indirectly in our futures.


This is where YOU can make a difference!

For $4,000 pledged annually for 4 years a Friendship Scholarship can be given in your name or that of a loved one or business! We are creating a special web page to honor those in place; local news recognition and other benefits.

For $100, 0000 we DO NOT spend your money! We invest it and use the income (4%+) earned to create a Friendship Scholarship IN PERPETUITY in your name or as you wish to designate! Example: The “MSSM ****your name*** Friendship Scholarship”.

“Smaller” Donations – even $10 or $20 – are very much appreciated! Your money still goes directly, 100%, to a Friendship Scholarship. It just takes a lot of them to fund one scholarship, and is slower to build to a permanent endowment. You’re directly helping a child reach their goals - thank you for your generosity and love!

The MSSM Friendship Scholarship Foundation is a publicly-supported 501(c)3 non-profit scholarship charity. Thank you for making dreams come true!

Donate Now!

Are you ready to support our children and the Friendship Scholarship Foundation?  Simply download our donation form here, fill it out, and mail it back to the address on the form.  It really is that easy!  If you prefer, you can donate with PayPal by scrolling up and clicking on the "Donate" button on the left under the menu.  Either way, you'll be helping our children, and that deserves a BIG THANK YOU!

Nutcracker Ballet and Nutcracker Cookies, a Sugar Plum Fairy Favorite!

We are pleased to begin a new partnership, in loving memory of Melanie Willis-McFadden, with the Merced Civic Ballet in their annual production of the Nutcracker.  This Christmas favorite was also a favorite of Melanie and Michelle and our memories of them live on in this age-old tradition.  More information regarding this exciting partnership will follow as we approach the next Christmas season!

Although the Nutcracker Ballet only happens once a year, you can have a taste of the Nutcracker anytime with our new Nutcracker Cookies!  These beautiful pink or white frosted ballet slippers will remind you of all the good things in the Nutcracker, and you'll feel even better knowing you'll be helping fund the Friendship Scholarships.  This program is just getting off the ground, so help make it a success by visiting the Sweet Dreams Gift Shoppe at the Merced Civic Ballet!

UC Merced Friendship Cookies

A new program has started at UC Merced to raise funds to provide a slightly different kind of Friendship Scholarship: this one to any student entering UC Merced as a Freshman! This program is also just getting started - please help make it a success!

Interested in selling Friendship Cookies at your Business or Restaurant?  We'll make it easy for you - just give us a call at (209) 722-6776.





MSSM Friendship Scholarship Foundation
PMB 121
3144 North 'G' Street #125
Merced, CA 95340

Copyright 2007 MSSM Friendship Scholarship Foundation, a 501(c)3 tax exempt charitable foundation.  All rights reserved.