Nothing should stop a student from attending their dream university, especially not cost. East Chicago Central graduate and Foundations of East Chicago (FEC) scholarship recipient Tomas Caraballo used scholarship money to help lower the cost of attending a private school.


After his graduation from East Chicago Central in 2006, Tomas began his college career at St. Joseph’s College in Rensselaer, Indiana. This was made possible in part thanks to a renewable scholarship that Tomas received from FEC.


Each year, FEC awards several scholarships to East Chicago students who meet academic achievement and volunteer involvement standards. These scholarships vary in amount and type.


“The FEC scholarship reduced the amount of student loans that I had to take,” said Tomas. “I am happy to say that all my student loan debts have been paid off for over a year now.”


Because he didn’t have to worry so much about funding his education, Tomas was able to focus on his studies and obtain a degree in political science. He now uses that degree to work as a laboratory technician.


Not only did Tomas’ scholarship money help him, but it also took stress off his family.


“I applied because I wanted to aid my parents as much as possible with the high tuition costs they were going to be facing by sending me to college,” he explained. Tomas added that the additional $2,000 a year that he received to attend an in-state university made a big difference.


One goal of the FEC scholarship program is to help send as many East Chicago students to college as possible. This is not only because they will be able to receive an education to benefit their future careers, but because attending college can add a lot to the experience of growing up.


“I enjoyed my four years at St. Joseph’s College,” said Tomas. “I made some friends along the way and got along splendidly with my professors. The experience I gained by living on my own, far from home, was also very valuable.”


Tomas encourages all East Chicago students to apply for the FEC scholarship, as it has the potential to make a profound impact on one’s life.


“Any student who hopes to continue their education after high school should take advantage of all scholarship opportunities that are afforded to them.”


For more information on the FEC scholarship program, visit