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Student Scholarship Fund

The Houghton College Student Scholarship Fund equips students with the financial resources to pursue God’s call on their lives through their Houghton education.

Giving to the Student Scholarship Fund is a powerful way to ensure Houghton’s academically challenging, Christ-centered education is affordable and accessible to students from diverse traditions and backgrounds. Every dollar given to the Student Scholarship Fund directly supports a Houghton student’s education.

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Meet Gabe VanWyk '21

Soccer player. Communication major. Entrepreneur. International student. Recruiter. Disciple. Fearless follower of Jesus Christ.

When you meet Gabriel VanWyk, all of these attributes are evident, but it is also apparent where he places his identity. No matter what other labels might apply, Gabe is first and foremost a son of God. It is a title he claims fearlessly.

This wasn’t always Gabe’s primary identity. He came to Houghton primarily to play soccer. Hailing from Durban, South Africa, Gabe was raised in the church but did not truly encounter Jesus until he came to Houghton. This face-to-face encounter challenged his identity, leading him on a painful path of walking away from soccer at a rather pivotal moment.

Matt Webb, Gabe, his cousin, and Coach McColl on soccer field

“Coach [Matt] Webb brought me here. When he became the athletic director, that’s when I felt God calling me to step away from soccer. It looked bad, with a new coach coming in, like I didn’t want to work with Coach [Bobby] McColl. I was absolutely gutted after that conversation with Coach Webb, but he explained to Coach McColl what happened. He supported me every step of the way.”

This willingness to follow Jesus despite the pain of giving up what was most dear, and to learn to place his identity in Jesus rather than in soccer, marks every aspect of Gabe’s life. His conversation is seasoned with his testimony. It isn’t surprising when he tells you that he’s led others to Christ during his time here at Houghton, because the Gospel simply pours out of him.

In addition to his gifts on the soccer field, Gabe has a winsome way about him that has led him to start his own nonprofit – the BridgeSports Foundation. Gabe uses the foundation to build bridges for aspiring collegiate athletes from South Africa to colleges in the United States. Over the past two years, he has successfully facilitated the opportunity for 27 South African students to attend college in the US, including his cousin Kyle Thyssen who now plays soccer at Houghton.

Gabe hopes to grow his organization after graduation. He would love for more students to have the transformational experiences he has enjoyed. Gabe has a heart especially for the youth in his hometown.

“I’m focused on helping other talented students and athletes from South Africa come to Houghton to have even greater experiences than I have had. I want to give them a way out and a better path.”

Gabe would not be at Houghton without significant scholarship support. God’s faithful provision despite his tenuous financial situation has convinced him that Houghton is exactly where God wants him to be. The fruit of the efforts of Coaches Webb and McColl, Student Financial Services, and donors who support the Student Scholarship Fund are evident in Gabe’s life and the lives of anyone who crosses his path.

“I’m a student who has been supported by scholarships,” he remarks. “My testimony is directly linked to Houghton College. When you invest in a student, you’re not just investing into that individual’s life, but also the lives connected to that individual. Donors have invested in me, and I have invested in many other lives. Through the power of multiplication, your investment impacts not just one life, but many.”

Please make a gift to the Student Scholarship Fund today, to ensure that future scholar-servant like Gabe continue to have the resources they need to live lives of fearless impact.

Give to the Student Scholarship Fund