By Mark Crawley
Governors State University
As admissions professionals, we all know the value of higher education. We also understand the various challenges that many of our students face while making the idea of a college education a reality. A large portion of the student population that we work with have not spent time on a college campus outside of a field trip or a quick college tour—if that. The Camp College and Motivate Me programs were created to give students extended exposure to college campuses, to challenge them intellectually, dispel their misconceptions, and also connect them with likeminded individuals from similar and drastically different circumstances, in order to let them know that a college experience is a real possibility. In other words, we work to provide opportunities for underserved high school students to discover what a college experience is all about. Students, parents, and counselors alike have shared the positive impact that these programs have had on attendees. We appreciate the feedback and wanted to add to the overall value of the programs while combatting one of the biggest issue faced by underserved student populations—cost. The Illinois Association for College Admission Counseling and the College Awareness and Preparation committee are pleased to continue building on the success of our programs by offering $1,000 scholarships for one student from each program this year.
Amy Axelrod (Director of Counseling), Brian Hodges (CAP Committee Co-Chair; University of Illinois at Springfield), Timothy Brazil, Tim Brazil (student’s father), Kelvin Yarrington (CAP Committee Member; Governors State University), and James Antos (Principal, Brother Rice High School)
The scholarships were created to highlight a senior high school student who attended the Motivate Me conference and one student from the Camp College program in a previous year. The committee looked for students who had taken their experiences from the programs and applied them to their lives and also used their experiences to help enrich the lives of others. Each student that had attended either program and was a current senior was contacted and given an opportunity to apply for the scholarships. The application consisted of a personal essay about the impact that the program had on them since they attended and how they have applied what they have learned. We also asked for a letter of recommendation, a copy of their transcript, and a resume that highlighted their activities and service work.
The CAP committee was charged with evaluating the application packets for each of the exceptionally qualified students who applied for the scholarships. While there were many excellent applicants, we could only choose two. We are thrilled to announce that the scholarship winner from Motivate Me is Timothy Brazil from Brother Rice High School in Chicago and he scholarship winner from Camp College is Roshni Patel from Streamwood High School in Streamwood. Both Timothy and Roshni are powerful examples of how acquiring and applying information can open doors that might otherwise remain closed. We congratulate and wish continued success to both students!
Ariel Correa (Principal, Streamwood High School), Judy Steinbeck (School Counselor), Roshni Patel, Brian Hodges (CAP Committee Co-Chair; University of Illinois at Springfield), and Kelvin Yarrington (CAP Committee Member; Governors State University)