Each year, the FEC scholarship program helps more and more local residents to achieve their educational goals. The program helps high school seniors as well as adults who are going back to school. Scholarship recipients are selected based on their academic success as well as their leadership characteristics and community involvement. Over the past seven years, FEC has been able to steadily increase the amount of funds allocated to its scholarship program. FEC awards scholarships of varying amounts to local students. Students receive scholarships typically between $6,000 and $1,500.
These scholarships have changed many lives. Raymond Flores, for example, was awarded a $5,000 scholarship when he graduated high school and with its help attended Columbia College Chicago. “It totally changed my life,” said Raymond of his FEC scholarship. “The scholarship allowed me to afford college and not take out so many student loans.” He is now using this degree and working for ESPN Chicago.
More recently, scholarships were distributed to high school seniors in May 2015. Jakob Rzepka and many other recipients are in their first semester of college putting those scholarship funds to good use. “The scholarship has helped ensure that I will receive the education I need to achieve my goals without having a large amount of debt,” said Jakob. He is now a freshman at Purdue University Calumet working on a bachelor’s degree in civil engineering. He urges current high school students to take the time to sit down and fill out scholarship applications…it’s worth it.
In addition, Foundations of East Chicago and Ivy Tech have been working together to establish what is known as the American Honors Program (AH) at Ivy Tech. This program offers additional educational opportunities and scholarships for advanced high school students as they head into college. Although the program is only in its second year, those who are a part of it say that American Honors has really taken off. American Honors Program at Ivy Tech offers students assistance in ways that are similar to many of their high school honors programs. AH students are placed in select, honors classes and become part of an AH learning cohort. This small group learning environment allows the students to help each other and also works to build a closer relationship between students and faculty.