EAST CHICAGO │ Foundations of East Chicago awarded $136,200 in 65 college scholarships to local students during a ceremony Thursday at Ivy Tech Community College.
Foundations of East Chicago first awarded three scholarships totaling $20,000 in 1998.
Since then the FEC has awarded over 700 East Chicagoans financial assistance with a total value to date of over $4.7 million. Those East Chicagoans have attended 114 universities and colleges in 28 states, with a large concentration in Indiana.
“Colleges with such levels of excellence — and our students from East Chicago are going there and continuing their education which is so great and we’re glad to be a part of it,” said Russell Taylor, FEC executive director.
This year the FEC awarded 35 four-year, renewable scholarships to high school seniors residing in East Chicago. Scholarships ranged from $1,500 to $6,000 per year with a total value of $111,000. One of the students is Anecia Battle, of East Chicago Central High School. The award will help Battle study nursing at IUPUI.
“There’s a lot of hard work and preparation going into college and it’s really great to feel that it’s paying off,” Battle said. “It’s just great. It will be a big help”
Angel Rosario, a senior at Bishop Noll Institute, is one of 24 recipients of a one-time, $500 book assistance scholarship awarded by the FEC.
“Everything counts to me,” said Rosario, who will attend Purdue Calumet University. “It might be a small amount in people’s eyes but for me that’s a paycheck.”
Non-traditional scholarships were also awarded to three East Chicagoans who are pursuing a college degree. Fatima Khan, 28, of Gary, is one of three adult students receiving a $1,000 award from the FEC. Khan just finished a term at Ivy Tech and is transferring to MJS College in Merrillville to study nursing.
“It definitely helps,” she said. “I was really happy.”
Nadyne Kokot, FEC board president, told relatives and friends attending the ceremony that the 2013 group of recipients “were our most mature and focused.”
“They know what they want and they know how to get it,” she said.
The Foundation also announced winners of its 2013 FEC-Ivy Tech Community College Scholarship. The two-year scholarships assist three graduating East Chicago high school seniors who will receive $3,400 per year.