MassBay Community College 2024 graduate Michal Grinis in Natick, MA, May 2024 (Photo/ Michal Grinis)
MassBay Community College 2024 graduate Michal Grinis in Natick, MA, May 2024 (Photo/ Michal Grinis)
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MassBay Community College 2024 graduate Michal Grinis of Natick, MA has been awarded the esteemed Foster Furcolo Award. This Award is presented annually to one graduate from each of Massachusetts’ 15 community colleges who exemplifies outstanding academic achievement, leadership and commitment to community service. The Scholarship is accompanied by a two-year scholarship covering tuition and most mandatory fees to attend the University of Massachusetts Boston.


The Foster Furcolo Scholarship is named after Massachusetts’ 60th Governor, John Foster Furcolo. Governor Furcolo was the first Italian American governor of the Commonwealth, an active promoter of community colleges, and a member of the United States House of Representatives from 1949–1952.


“This scholarship means the world to me because this is my future,” said Grinis. “I am thankful and proud, but was shocked when I received word I had been selected as the 2024 recipient because there were many qualified applicants. When I filled out my application, I thought it would be a slim chance I would be noticed. This shows the importance of sharing your story and raising your voice. Whenever you do that, you will stand out and someone will recognize your hard work.”

Grinis moved to the United States when she was 11 years old and faced numerous challenges when she and her family relocated for her father’s job, including learning a new language, meeting new friends, and navigating a new community. Her journey to academic success is a reflection of her resilient spirit and determination to reach her goals. Grinis considered various paths after graduating from Natick High, but following in her sister’s footsteps, she came to MassBay to find a career path.


“My family has been an instrumental support system, giving me the confidence to pursue my goals. My dad, in particular, has played a very important and inspirational role in my life. Without my dad’s foresight to come here and start from zero, to create a new life for our family, I would not be here.”


In addition to her family, Grinis credits her advisor for helping her rediscover her love for the law and helping her pivot her career track. “I initially came to MassBay to take classes for a year and then transfer, but I found a supportive community that wanted to help me succeed and find my passion in life. My advisor, Cheryl MacMillian, was always available and helpful in guiding me,” she said. “Also, with MassBay Transfer Advisor Karen Akukwe’s help with coordinating all the details to transfer to UMass Boston, I was able to reach my goals and move at my own pace to get where I wanted to be.”


Grinis will be graduating from MassBay in May with her Associate in Arts degree in Liberal Arts. She

will transfer to UMass Boston to pursue a bachelor’s in political science with the goal of attending law school and becoming an attorney.