CALUMET — A scholarship program is doing more for a group of Calumet students than just paying for college.

Seven local students have a much brighter future thanks to a program that will help them pay for college. Lighthouse Learners was founded by Michigan Tech Alumni Barb and Paul Horton. The students started the program when they were in 5th grade and are now entering their sophomore year in high school.

After they graduate, Lighthouse Learners will pay for their full tuition at Michigan Tech, books, and room and board. But the program does more than just get them ready for college. Calumet High School Sophomore Emilie Jacques said, “My hope is that when they graduate, because of this program and all they’re learning with us, they’re going to be better bosses, they’re going to be better employees, they’ll be better parents because they’ve been exposed to so much.”

And the benefits will last long after they have their degrees.

Program co-founder Barb Horton said, “We’ve done a lot of service learning and a lot of community work. We’ve done work with spotted knapweed and invasive species. We’ve also done a lot of spiritual learning to get closer to God and stuff. And, we’ve done a couple of retreats at the Marston Center and that’s been nice because we get to get closer to each other.” Emilie would like to study children’s medicine when she gets to college. She knows that goal has been made possible by the Hortons.

Jacques said, “They’re like another set of grandparents. They’re amazing! They’re always so happy and kind and they’re wonderful people and I thank them everyday for this opportunity.” And for Barb, that makes it all worth it.

Horton said, “It feels like I’m doing something worth while and I love the way I’m spending my money.”

After these students graduate in 2018, a new group of 5th graders will be accepted into the program.

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