A Family’ Shared Story: Fehring Family Scholarship

Stories ignite empathy, faith in action, and create lasting change.

One family’s story illustrates the profound impact that comes from directly engaging with scholarship recipients and witnessing the transformative power of education and faith. 

In 2023, Patrick and JoAnn Fehring established the Fehring Family Scholarship to benefit Catholic schools in Detroit. Their decision was driven by a desire to share the value of a Catholic education they had benefited from and engage their twin daughters, Erika and Jenny, in philanthropy.

“This was life-changing for our family,” shared Patrick and JoAnn. The Fehrings were surprised at how passionately the girls took charge and how impacted they were. “It brought Erika to tears…she called me late one night with an urgent plea, ‘Dad, we need to do more…The need is great–much bigger than we expected. We need to help more families,” shared Patrick.

The Catholic Foundation worked directly with Erika and Jenny to create a scholarship application and a process to evaluate recipients. After the evaluation process and direct meetings with the Fehrings, the Foundation coordinated a visit with the twins and several schools, so that they were able to see and hear stories of the need for scholarships for Catholic education. 

“What an incredible gift and opportunity we have to continue our family legacy,” Erika reflects. “The desire by so many families to learn more about God is why we are here. The enthusiasm in the students’ faces is something we will cherish forever. We are privileged and honored to be able to provide the same support for Catholic education that was offered to us by our parents..”

Their partnership with the Catholic Foundation has both provided ease in establishing the scholarship and also instilled confidence in the impact of their giving. “The process of engagement with the staff has been seamless,” Patrick explains, “ensuring that our donor intent is respected while directing support to areas of greatest need.” 

For the Fehrings, philanthropy has become much more than a financial contribution. “This experience has deepened our connection with the community and within our own family,” shared Patrick and JoAnn.

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