A Rolling Meadows High School senior who turned his classroom pursuits and co-curricular activities -- from robotics to cross country and water polo -- into a 30-second video rap is among the winners of this year's Redefining Ready! Twitter-based scholarship, offered through the District 214 Education Foundation to seniors who creatively and genuinely demonstrate how they are college, career and life ready beyond a test score.
A Buffalo Grove High School student pilot flying high above the Chicago skyline and three other seniors who demonstrated the breadth of their readiness also were recipients of a combined $5,000 in financial awards toward college.
In all, the Education Foundation awarded $20,000 in scholarships this year to fuel student success, funded by alumni, parent and community donors.
That is in addition to $15,000 in Advanced Placement testing scholarships awarded to students across all six District 214 schools to fund exams they could not afford, empowering an estimated $250,000 in early college credits.
In the last two years, Foundation donors have contributed more than $200,000 specifically toward scholarships for District 214 students. While most are for postsecondary tuition, others fund success for those still in high school, like a scholarship providing private music instruction for Prospect students.
The Foundation last fall also launched the Cardinal Endowment, named for the mascot of its first school, with a goal of raising $500,000 by 2020 toward Advanced Placement scholarships and financial awards for career credentials.
"We are incredibly grateful to every donor who has come forward and generously, graciously contributed to the success of our students. It is always amazing to watch an alum return and give back," said Tom Munz, chair of the Education Foundation Board of Trustees. "The impact is extraordinary and often immeasurable. Together, we are able to make sure our students are succeeding not just in high school but in whatever they pursue afterward."
Scholarships are just one arm of the Foundation's funding. Broadly, the Foundation supports student success, innovation and lifelong learning beyond the limitations of conventional funding for public education. In the last year, the Foundation has provided nearly $40,000 grants to educators toward enhanced curriculum and innovative opportunities; taken more than 150 first-generation college students and parents for college visits; supported standout entrepreneurial students; funded family literacy initiatives; and more.
The Foundation is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit specifically supporting District 214. For more information or to help fund the future, visit www.214foundation.org.