Over a decade ago, this East Chicago native was among the early recipients of scholarships through the Foundations of East Chicago. Today, Dr. Kathya Valdez Chartre practices family medicine in Chicago’s Lincoln Park neighborhood.


And she still remembers the moment she fully realized the impact of the support the scholarship represented.


Dr. Chartre recounted it during comments at ceremonies recognizing the 2014 FEC scholarship winners.


“I was in the bookstore at the University of Illinois at Chicago College of Medicine when I really began to realize what a gift the FEC scholarship was,” she said. “I felt truly blessed to be able to buy my books and continue my education to become a physician. I will never forget how this program helped me achieve success.”


Dr. Chartre has followed a policy of giving back to the broader community. She has participated in various community service programs, including health fairs, free clinics and served the healthcare system in Honduras working with children with HIV. She has also served as a clinical medicine instructor, a medical Spanish course instructor and is still residency recruitment chair at UIC-St. Joseph Hospital. She is also a published researcher.


This accomplished physician is a credit to East Chicago, and she exemplifies the spirit behind the scholarship program we’ve been committed to since 1998. Recipients like her justify our $5.4 million investment in scholarships over the years.