“The Foundations of East Chicago (FEC) continued to support me financially when I didn’t even believe in myself,” said FEC scholarship recipient Ailyah Banks.

This fall, Ailyah, a graduate of Bishop Noll Institute, will be entering her senior year at Valparaiso University where she will complete a double major in International Business and Chinese and Japanese Studies after just four years in college. However, Ailyah admits that the transition from life as a high school student in East Chicago to attending a large university away from home was a bit challenging.

“My first semester of college, I found it very hard to adjust and did not do so well in my classes,” she explained. But Ailyah says the support she continued to receive from FEC gave her hope and the confidence to move forward with her dreams.

“To see that this organization cared so much about my education pushed me in reaching my full potential.”

Ailyah believes that all East Chicago high school students should apply for an FEC scholarship because the financial and emotional support that the organization provides can be an invaluable part of getting through college.

“The Foundations of East Chicago will invest in you and wants you to succeed just as much as you do,” she said. “If you put in the hard work in your classes now, you have a whole team waiting to support you.”

Once she has completed her degrees, Ailyah would like to continue to advocate for East Chicago youth and FEC to help more students from her hometown achieve their dreams.

“My responsibility as a scholarship recipient does not end after graduation,” she explained. “I am committed in being an example for East Chicago’s youth, showing them the importance of education, and the opportunities possible through the Foundations of East Chicago.”

To learn more about our FEC scholarship recipients or how to apply for next year’s scholarships, visit www.FoundationsEC.org.