Royal Oak student overcomes odds, is awarded full-ride scholarship to MSU

Posted at 5:54 PM, May 25, 2018
and last updated 2018-05-26 08:36:18-04

A Royal Oak High School senior was awarded the Robert A. Schuele Scholarship, providing her a full ride to Michigan State University. 

Jana Ratzloff applied with more than 450 other applicants and found out she got the scholarship on Friday morning. The scholarship committee said they chose Ratzloff because of how she has persevered through the hardships life has thrown at her. 

“When we get to know them and their story and to know how this is going to change. Because this is not just a paper thing," Tom Violante said. "I cried; It really just warms my heart.”  

Jana was adopted from an orphanage in China when she was a toddler. Her newly adopted home then had tragedy strike when it burned down in January of 2013. Then in 2016, her mother had a stroke. 

“We thought she was gonna die,” Jana said. “Luckily, she didn’t and the doctors saved her life. It was just a lot to handle.”

Through all of that Jana never got anything but A's and got into the college of her dreams. 

“I really want to be a vet so Michigan was my final choice," Jana said. "Luckily I got in.”  

Her family didn’t know what they were going to do about the cost of tuition. Jana applied for this scholarship and found out on Friday she got it. 

“I can finally pursue my dreams without worrying about the financial burden,” she said. 

Jana will start at Michigan State in the fall.