Seventeen local high school graduates of the class of 2016 will receive the first annual Jacksonville Promise scholarships on Thursday.
Eligible students were those who have attended a Jacksonville school from Kindergarten through twelfth grade. Lincoln Land Community College enrollment operations coordinator Maryjane Million explains how the scholarship winners were chosen.
“These are not merit-based scholarships, so they’re actually open to any students who graduate with a 2.0 GPA or greater. They must complete an essay and submit it along with the application to be considered eligible for the program,” says Million.
Of the 17 scholarships being awarded, 16 will go to students from Jacksonville High School and one will go to a student from Routt Catholic.
Million explains how the scholarships are geared towards building within the Jacksonville community.
“We have so many wonderful youth in our community. We’d like to see them grow within our community and after high school, attend college here. Perhaps even upon graduation they’ll want to start their own business or stay within the community and continue to allow Jacksonville to grow,” Million says.
Million spoke more about how the idea originated, and expanded on what these scholarships will offer local students.
“It is our hope that we will be able to continue to grow this program through donations. All of the funding is completely donated from individuals and businesses within the community, and we hope that we can grow it even more next year and be able to award even more students. The recipients will be awarded the scholarships to attend Illinois College, MacMurray College and Lincoln Land Community College in Jacksonville,” says Million.
Students will receive their scholarships at a ceremony hosted by Lincoln Land Community College starting at 5:30 p.m.