Honorees at this year's 24th annual Realizing the Dream Banquet, held at the Sheraton Hotel in Indianapolis, included Lyndsey A. DiGiacomo, of Gary, a student at Calumet College of St. Joseph in Hammond..
Realizing a dream takes commitment, hard work, and, most often, a helping hand from family and others, 31 students from Indiana’s independent colleges and universities were celebrated for "Realizing the Dream.”
Now sophomores, they have realized the dream of being the first in their families to go to college, have been selected by their colleges for outstanding achievement in the freshman year, and are successfully advancing towards completing their bachelor’s degrees.
Made possible by a grant from Lilly Endowment Inc. to the Independent Colleges of Indiana, the event recognizes first-generation students attending ICI campuses, along with their inspirational teachers and families.
DiGiacomo and each honored student received a $2,000 check to help with college costs, and each student’s chosen "most influential” teacher/mentor received $1,000. In DiGiacomo's case, that teacher is Alissa Birch, who taught DeGiacomo at Calumet New Tech High School and now teaches at Irvington Preparatory Academy in Indianapolis.
Keynote speaker was Rebecca Hernandez, Ph.D., Goshen College associate dean of Intercultural Development & Educational Partnerships.