Great Lakes Scholars honors students grades 3-8 who excel in the classroom, in the community, as leaders in extra-curricular, church or other outside interests, as well as on the athletic fields and courts. Now in its 16th year, Great Lakes Scholars honors the best and brightest students in five states of the Midwest that surround those large bodies of water: Indiana, Michigan, Minnesota, Ohio and Wisconsin. (Beginning in 2008, students in Illinois were honored under its own identity, Illinois Young Scholars).

Great Lakes Scholars is part of The Scholars Program that honors students in nine different states across the country. We started out in 1998 by honoring the best and brightest students in the State of Michigan before expanding to encompass the entire region (see Our History below). Each year we receive letters from principals, teachers, parents, and students telling us how much the experience means to them and what a void we are filling in their community. This is exactly why we were founded.

It may be a cliché, but we are a company that cares. Great Lakes Scholars has been established to allow students the opportunity to receive positive affirmation for what is so important at this age: a willingness and excitement to learn, a desire to be involved, and an enthusiasm towards community service and activities.

Names of students appear for no charge in a book that will be published at the end of the year. You do not "buy" your way into a book. Each student who is nominated deserves the recognition.

Realizing that not everyone wants a book nor can afford one, we post children's names on this web site if they receive permission from their parent or guardian. We allow schools a chance to download press releases to send this news to local media. Each school receives a complimentary certificate noting their participation and how many students from their school received such designation. Many schools have started Great Lakes Scholar "Walls of Fame" in which they post their certificate after each year of participation.

Finally, we host community recognition events such as Great Lakes Scholars Night at the Ballpark to again show that hard work, good grades, and community service do matter and are noticed in our community.

We are not above good ideas and suggestions on how we can do this or anything else. Email us at and let us know your thoughts.

We wish you the best in your academic and other pursuits.

Our History:
1998: Great Lakes Scholars launches in the State of Michigan honoring 4th-8th graders. Great Lakes Scholars honors over 3,000 students its first year and receives great feedback from teachers, administrators, parents and students regarding our caring nature and willingness to "step up" and show that people are watching and do care about the formulative 4th-8th grade years.

2002: Great Lakes Scholars celebrates its 5th Anniversary. In that time, thousands of teachers and nearly 20,000 students have participated and honored.

2002: Great Lakes Scholars starts its first "Great Lakes Scholars Night @ Comerica Park." The night is immensely popular as students from all over the State of Michigan converge on downtown Detroit to be honored by the Detroit Tigers.

2003: Great Lakes Scholars grows to encompass the entire Great Lakes region by adding five additional states. Ohio, Illinois, Wisconsin, Indiana, and Minnesota are also included in the opportunity to honor their Best & Brightest students.

2004: Great Lakes Scholars responds to requests by teachers and parents to include third graders for the opportunity to be honored and included as a Great Lakes Scholar. Beginning in 2004, 3rd-8th graders are honored. Now, 35,000 students have been honored since Great Lakes Scholars inception.

2004: All six states send representatives to 2004's Great Lakes Scholars Night at Comerica Park. The game ends up being a sell-out.

2004: On a semi-regular basis, Great Lakes Scholars begins emailing out a newsletter to its participants with news, awards, and honors of other Great Lakes Scholars. The service is done for free as another example of how Great Lakes Scholars truly seeks to honor all of its awardees.

2005: Great Lakes Scholars hosts its first event outside of Michigan as the Cleveland Indians honor the Scholars with a Field Parade at Jacob's Field. Also, Great Lakes Scholars Night at Comerica Park expands to two nights.

2006: Great Lakes Scholars hosts its first event in Chicago as over a thousand Scholars, families and friends watch the defending World Champion Chicago White Sox battle the eventual American League Champion Detroit Tigers.

2007: Great Lakes Scholars celebrates its 10th year of existence.  Including the six Great Lakes States as well as similar programs launched in Florida and Texas, over 60,000 students have been honored since the program’s inception.

2008: Students from Illinois participate in an offshoot of the Great Lakes Scholars program and take on their own identity with the name Illinois Young Scholars.

2008: The Scholars Program launches in California.

2010: The Scholars Program expands to include nine Southern States. Now, 18 states are represented. The Scholars Program has now honored over 100,000 students since its inception.

2013: Great Lakes Scholars and the rest of The Scholars Program begin their 16th year of honoring the Best and Brightest. Over 120,000 students have been honored since our initial beginnings in 1998. After this year's class, more outstanding future leaders will join the ranks of Great Lakes Scholars honorees.