The scholarship program at the Foundations of East Chicago (FEC) began many years ago with the goal of helping young people in the community. Now, this investment in East Chicago’s youth is paying off in a bigger way than anyone could have imagined.


Hollis Fullilove is a 2010 graduate of East Chicago Central High School who received an FEC scholarship that helped him pay for four years of schooling at Butler University. While at Butler, Hollis studied accounting and gained experience in the field while interning at an accounting firm for two years.


Hollis received his degree in 2014 and, one year later, began putting his skills and talents back into the community that helped raise him. He founded his own business, Crane Financial, LLC, which is located in East Chicago and provides tax preparation services, bookkeeping, budgeting and business development to individuals and small businesses within the city.


“My FEC college experience gave me the opportunity to broaden my horizons and continue to aspire for greater things,” said Hollis.


In addition to providing financial services for the adults in East Chicago, Hollis has partnered with fellow EC Central graduate Chris Woods in the creation of Let’s Go Leadership Conference for community youth.


“We bring together young men in our community from ages 12-18 in order to teach them certain skills and tools that they can use to be successful in their current and future endeavors,” explained Hollis.


Hollis has accomplished all of this while working full-time as an Experienced Associate with a Big Four public accounting firm. He credits his family, community and ability to receive a quality education with his success.


“I am thankful for the assistance in furthering my education,” said Hollis. “It is comforting to know that my community has invested in mine and many of my fellow classmates’ and East Chicago residents’ futures.”


Hollis believes that all East Chicago young people have the potential to be successful through dedication, hard work and support from the community. He urges students to not be afraid or discouraged when following their dreams.


“The world we live in provides us a new opportunity every single day, no matter what you have come from or what you have been through. Only you can control where you are going, so go as far as your heart desires.”