Starved Rock Country Community Foundation announces scholarship winners

9 scholarships awarded in 2021

Through the generosity of local donors, the Starved Rock Country Community Foundation awarded nine scholarships in 2021.

The Rising Star Scholarship was awarded to Brandon Applebee, of Seneca, who will be attending Illinois State University in the fall with a major in special education. The Rising Star Scholarship was established by a generous donor, Ethel McConnell, who cherished her career as an elementary education teacher for many years throughout La Salle County. McConnell looks forward to meeting Applebee to present this award.

Ethel McConnell also established the MAC-AERO Scholarship for Aeronautics and Aviation. This year the scholarship was awarded to Mark J. Parlier, of Spring Valley. Parlier will be attending the University of Illinois and majoring in aerospace engineering with a minor in electrical and computer engineering. McConnell looks forward to presenting this award to Parlier in honor of her late beloved husband, Ed, a World War II veteran, engineer and proud owner of Mac-Aero, a business in Seneca where he rebuilt and repaired light airplanes.

The Carol and Dick Janko Scholarship for Promising Entrepreneurs was created specifically for students who can demonstrate recent studies or work-related activities focused on entrepreneurship. Scholarships were presented to Megan Brooker from Granville who is currently attending the University of Illinois to pursue a degree in industrial/organizational psychology; Evan Hardy, of La Salle, to continue his studies at Illinois Valley Community College working on a degree in business; Grace McCormick, of Peru, who will be graduating from IVCC and attending the University of Illinois majoring in community and organizational leadership and Amber Vroman, who is graduating from Seneca High School and plans to attend Central College in Pella, Iowa to study psychology/sports psychology and education. The SRCCF is planning an awards reception with Dick Janko to honor present and past winners of the Entrepreneurial Scholarship.

Marquette Academy awarded the Tom Tillman Trophy to Lucas Hoffman, of Ottawa, who will receive the Thomas “Tucker” Tillman Scholarship from SRCCF. The scholarship, established by Shalanda Rabadan, Tucker’s niece, is bestowed upon the Marquette Academy award recipient who best demonstrates charisma, leadership and both academic and athletic excellence. Lucas will attend North Central College and major in business.

The SRCCF announced two new scholarships in 2021.

The Pie It Forward Scholarship for Inclusion, established through the SRCCF by the Tangled Roots Brewing Company, required applicants to demonstrate through their studies or related experience how they can positively affect change in the world. The first winner of this scholarship is Sydnee Plesko, of Streator. Plesko will be attending Greenville University in the fall with a major in elementary education.

The Women Inspired Network Scholarship for Young Women Leaders, also new in 2021, was awarded to Sarah Kaschke, of Streator. Kaschke, a graduate of the University of Illinois, currently attends the Idaho College of Osteopathic Medicine. Upon graduation, Kaschke hopes to inspire young women from rural communities to pursue their highest potential and achieve their dreams.

The staff and board of SRCCF extend their thanks to the donors who made these scholarships possible and congratulate the 2021 recipients. More information about all the SRCCF scholarship opportunities can be found on the SRCCF website, or by calling the foundation office at 815-252-2906.