12 area students awarded more than $37,000 in scholarships

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The Starved Rock Country Community Foundation awarded more than $37,000 to 12 students recently at its annual scholarship reception in Ottawa.

The event recognized students who have demonstrated dedication to their education and community.

Ethel McConnell (center) poses for a photo with her scholarship recipients Ella Kamke (left) and Lily Keutzer.

Through local donors, scholarships were awarded to students studying elementary education, aviation, biochemistry, engineering, culinary arts, business, exercise science, computer science and sports psychology.

In addition, four students received The Carol and Dick Janko Scholarship for Promising Entrepreneurs for their “entrepreneurial spirit.”

Alex Jagers of Princeton (left) with Matt Janko, representing his grandparent’s scholarship for “promising entrepreneurs” at the Starved Rock Country Community Foundation scholarship reception Monday, June 24, 2024.

“Tonight, we celebrate individuals and businesses who are making a college education more accessible and the industrious students seizing the opportunity,” said Fran Brolley, president and CEO of SRCCF on Monday. “Meeting the recipients and donors tonight only strengthens our devotion to this outstanding organization and our desire to continue to work alongside winners like you.”

Chesney Auter of Ottawa stands with Emily Yacko Hardee, sponsor of the Molly Lenora Yacko Memorial Scholarship. Auter is the first recipient of the $1,000 scholarship honoring Emily’s cousin Molly who died from suicide at age 20.

The reception featured an awards presentation, speeches from recipients and an opportunity for donors to meet the students whose lives they have touched.

SRCCF winners are:

Elisabeth “Ella” Kamke of Utica, $5,000 Rising Star Scholarship sponsored by Ethel McConnell of Ottawa.

Lily Ann Keutzer of Princeton, $10,000 Mac-Aero Scholarship for Aeronautics and Aviation, also sponsored by McConnell.

Alex Jagers of Princeton, $3,000 Janko.

Jenna Gamons of Ottawa, $2,500 Janko.

Isabella Cacciatore of Spring Valley, $1,500 Janko.

Madison Applebee of Seneca, $1,000 Janko.

Emma Cushing of Ottawa, $2,500 Advantech Internet of Things (IoT) Scholarship for Science Engineering and Technology.

Landon Whelchel of Amboy, $2,500 Advantech IoT.

Madelynn Guilinger of Morris, $2,000 Charles H. Beckett Scholarship for Culinary Arts.

Clare Phillips of Wenona, $3,000 Robert J. Moore and Ellen G. Moore Scholarship.

Denver Trainor of Ransom, Thomas “Tucker” Tillman Scholarship.

Kate Passwater of Ottawa, $3,000 Women Inspired Network Young Women Leaders Scholarship.

Chesney Auter of Ottawa, $1,000 Molly Lenora Yacko Memorial Scholarship.


Click here to find out more about scholarships at SRCCF.

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