Scholarships for seniors: new foundation offers scholarships for McIntosh seniors

Applications are due March 31


The McIntosh Chiefs Foundation aims to offer scholarships to McIntosh seniors.

Marjorie Smedley, Opinions Editor

Editor’s note: A quote that was originally attributed to Cele Eifert should instead have been attributed to Lisa Fine and has been corrected. The Trail regrets the error.  

More scholarship opportunities for McIntosh seniors are happening this March, and this one happens to be sponsored by a foundation that specifically caters to McIntosh students. The McIntosh Chiefs Foundation, which was founded in 2022, is a public charity that will fund grants for programs and scholarships specifically for McIntosh seniors.

Former McIntosh Principal Lisa Fine, who is the Chiefs Foundation President of the Board of Directors, spoke in an interview about the reasons why the Foundation was created. Despite retiring from education, Fine still wants to give back to the students of McIntosh, especially the parts of the student population who are underserved. 

“I just felt like there was some underserved needs in the student population with scholarships. It seems that a lot of things go to, if you will, the top students and we wanted to look at more of the students who were not all the top students, the junior marshals, and the valedictorians, to try to reward those students with recognition and scholarships,” Fine said.

These scholarships for this year include a thousand-dollar scholarship offered by the foundation, and a 500-dollar scholarship, which is being sponsored by Mike Holmes of Chick-fil-A. The Foundation plans to expand on these scholarships as the years go on.

“We’re hoping to solicit scholarships from specific businesses who might then want to encourage students to study in their particular fields. And that would expand the audience for the scholarships for example, a business who might want to sponsor a scholarship for a CTE student, maybe a restaurant who might want to sponsor a scholarship for a Consumer Science student,” said Fine.

The foundation is the brainchild of retired USAF Lt. Colonel Cele Eifert who has previously served as MHS PTSO President, chair of the MHS School Council, past Booster Club President for MHS Track and Golf and has been the Director of the Hall of Fame since its inaugural year of 2011. She had researched other similar education foundations around the country and determined that such an entity would be a valuable asset at McIntosh. 

“Ms. Eifert contacted me and asked me to do some research, and I did and in the research that I conducted, and in talking with Cele, we decided that we wanted to expand opportunities for McIntosh students. There are so many talented students at McIntosh, academically, artistically, athletically – [and] scholarships seemed to be more accessible to athletes than they are to the other populations. So in organizing our foundation, we selected people from different areas of life, talent, and we decided that we wanted to target some other audiences for scholarships to help them pursue education,” said Fine.

The Foundation’s goal in providing these scholarships to students is to affirm and push them to follow their career goals, even if that career goal could be costly in terms of price.

“I think we just want to make sure that we focus on [that] not everybody needing to go to a four-year university. You know, there’s glory, if you will, in serving in different capacities, and we need to help those students, you know, achieve those dreams and follow those paths. And sometimes money is the speed bump that gets in the way and if we can help you know, alleviate that that’s what we’re trying to do. So I just encourage people that just continue on after high school with the post-secondary. So that’s what we’re really trying to make sure that people don’t stop after high school,” said Eifert.

The Chiefs Foundation Board of Directors is made up of members who have been active in parts of McIntosh, including McIntosh’s current Principal Maggie Walls.

“I would like to commend the board of directors. We have eight members who serve on our or eight directors who serve on our board and the first scholarship created. So through the generous donations of our board members, we are able to offer a $1,000 scholarship and that makes me very proud,” said Fine. 

The McIntosh Chiefs Foundation exists to support McIntosh students from all walks of life, and helps to support the students who may be overlooked by other scholarships and grants. Any McIntosh senior can apply to the scholarships, and the applications can be found at The deadline to apply is March 31.

“If there’s some way that we can help a student who has a talent by providing some funds for them to pursue their area of interests, then we will have accomplished our mission,” said Fine.