The GKSF is a 501 ©(3) non-profit organization founded in 1999 that provides scholarship support to the Albanian-American youth in the state of Michigan as they pursue a 4 year bachelors degree. The fund was created as an extension of the Albanian American Student Organization, now active in multiple college campuses throughout Michigan.
The founding board includes: Mark Berishaj, Kastriot Shaska, Pjeter Vuli, Diana Elezaj, Gjoka Bojaj, Gjon Juncaj, Pjeter Berishaj. The current serving board can be found here! However, this organization is not possible without the constant support from the members of our community who donate not only in monetary value but also time and talent.
Our application typically opens up in the spring time. In order to be considered for the scholarship you must meet the following requirements: must have a standing GPA of at least a 3.0, must attend a four-year university in the state of Michigan pursuing a bachelors degree, must be at least 50% Albanian.
If your permanent address is not in Michigan but you attend a university in Michigan, you are welcome to apply. We also encourage international students to apply as we know how much the financial aspect of college is a burden!
Our process in choosing the winners remains, for the most part, completely anonymous. We have a system set up to file out and assess applicants based on GPA and financial need prior to grading personal statements. This predetermines a score for the applicant as that is where we assess the most need. A designated member of the board will then go in and remove names in personal statements, replacing them with a number, so the committee in charge of reading those will remain completely un-bias. Our designated committee, then reads the personal statement giving out extra points to those applicants. Once all the points are totaled and scored, the board goes in and looks at the scores and reveals the applicant to their score to then go on and choose the winners for that year.
The amount of scholarship money varies based on the amount of donations for the year. Within the last 20+ years, the GKSF has awarded over $330,000 in scholarship money. Within the last five years, the fund has been able to give out about 60% of those funds.
Each donation is an essential aspect of the fund as a 100% of your donation goes to our students. The board itself is purely volunteer based, meaning each member does this in the free time they have from their career, family, etc. without any form of payment. Each member is involved in this fund because they truly believe in the cause!
There are many levels of donations. Please refer to our website, gksfund.org, under the tab, Make a Donation, to see how you can be a donor!
The GKSF Gala is an annual gala held to recognize our student recipients for that year as well as highlighting a guest speaker from our community. Our gala is typically held in early February. Our program includes, cocktail hour, an opening for the chair of the fund, guest speaker, recognition of our donors as well as student winners followed by music and dancing.
Follow us on Facebook and Instagram @thegjergjkastriotischolarshipfund for all of our updates and spotlights on past and present student winners, board members and donors. Please reach out via email, firstname.lastname@example.org for any additional questions/comments/concerns.