Will County Irish society awards scholarships for study abroad program

IASCW has awarded scholarships to 56 students since 1983

The Irish American Society of County Will has awarded scholarships to three summer exchange student scholars.

Kate Leeders, a junior at Joliet Catholic Academy, Nolan Hall, a senior at Lincoln-Way West High School in New Lenox, and Lauren Potts, a senior at Joliet West High School, each received a $4,000 scholarship towards the Irish Life Experience, according to a news release from the Irish American Society of County Will.

The 2024 program costs $5,650, according to the release.

The three students will make an audio/visual presentation to the attendees during the 2024 IASCW Scholarship Banquet on April 7.

IASCW has awarded scholarships to 56 students since 1983, including the 2024 students.

The Irish Life Experience is a study abroad program in Ireland, where high school students attend classes, tours and workshops learn about Ireland’s “magical landscape and rich heritage, according to the Irish Life Experience website.

Hannah Borgra, who spent six weeks in Ireland in 2017 through the Irish Life Experience when she was a Joliet West student, previously said the program was “the most amazing experience of my life.”

“It taught me how to value life lessons,” Borgra previously said, “and how to meet new friends. I didn’t know a single person when I left on the trip and know I have 12 new lifelong friends.”

To be eligible, students must live in Will County and/or attend a high school in Will County, according to the release.

Students completed an application that included “schoolwork accomplishments, extra-curricular activities, and an essay explaining why they wish to travel to and study in Ireland,” according to the release.

The 2023 IASCW scholars who attended the program are Cassidy Gray (Joliet Catholic Academy), Edward Keegan (Joliet Catholic Academy). and Paul Coffey (Joliet West High School).

For more information about the Irish Life Experience, visit irishlifeexperience.com.


WHAT: 2024 IASCW Scholarship Banquet

WHEN: 1:30-4 p.m. April 7

WHERE: Knights of Columbus Joliet Council #382, 100 S. 129th Infantry Drove, Joliet,

ETC: Banquet open to members and the community. Includes full lunch buffet, Irish dance demonstration, performance by the Providence Catholic Pipe Band.

INFO: Call 815-791-6424 or visit countywillirish.net.