As the vaccination rate began to decline earlier this year, the state of Michigan implemented a financial incentive in hopes of vaccinating more residents. The incentive was a ‘vaccine lottery’ that awarded cash prizes to as many as 32 Michigan residents and nine college scholarships. The majority of cash prizes were $50,000, and the scholarships allowed for free tuition for public colleges in the state of Michigan. Josiah Debaets, a sophomore at Forest Hills Eastern, was one of the lucky scholarship winners.
Debaets received his vaccine at the tail end of the previous school year, shortly after the Pfizer vaccine was approved for teenagers between 12-15 years old. Josiah received the vaccine not only to protect himself, but the people around him too. “I [got] vaccinated for both [myself and others around me]. I don’t want other people around me [to] get sick because I had COVID” DeBaets said.
Josiah intends on utilizing his scholarship in the future to attend college in hopes of becoming a pharmacist. He said that “Ferris State [University] has a good pharmacy program that I’d like to [attend].”