Each year, the Purdue University Northwest TRIO/Educational Opportunity Program awards an individual or organization with the Sue Panther Award for fostering access to and success in education for all. This year, the Foundations of East Chicago (FEC), a nonprofit organization that, since 1997, has been working to improve the quality of life for residents of East Chicago, IN, is being presented with that award.


FEC has helped the people of East Chicago through community outreach events, school programs, grant writing and, perhaps most notably, their scholarship program.


The FEC scholarship program makes it possible for residents of East Chicago, regardless of income or educational history, to pursue a college education. Since its inception, FEC has awarded over $2.5 million in college scholarships to East Chicago residents. It is because of this dedication to education that FEC has been chosen as the Sue Panther Award recipient.


In addition to the scholarship program, FEC has provided funding for programs like the Purdue University Northwest Educational Talent Search Program and the Ronald E. McNair Post-Baccalaureate Achievement Program, both of which work to get students ranging in levels from 6th grade to graduate school assistance in paying for college.


The presentation of the award was conducted at the annual PNW EOP/TRIO awards ceremony that was held at the Radisson Hotel at the Star Plaza in Merrillville, IN on the evening of April 28. FEC board president Nadyne Kokot, board secretary Peter Smith, board member Sylvia Morrisroe, executive director Rosa Pena, interim executive director George Weems and education program director Tereka Boone were there to accept the award on behalf of the organization.


For more information on FEC and its programs, visit foundationsec.org.