Waubonsee scholarship recipient seeks to make a difference in students' lives 30 years later

Kevin Pennington, a Waubonsee Community College Foundation board member, knows firsthand the impact a scholarship can have on a student's education and future.

Now an athletic training and sports performance manager with Northwestern Medicine, Pennington began his education at Waubonsee, earning his associate degree in 1991.

Pennington received the Gustafson Scholarship, named for one of Waubonsee's original board of trustee members, Dr. Lucile Gustafson.

Paired with Waubonsee's affordable cost, this selective and prestigious scholarship gave Pennington the opportunity to continue his education after high school.

"It was a great start and the right decision for me," Pennington said. "Out of all the education I have received, it was Waubonsee that put me in the best educational position. It helped me decide where I wanted to go in life."

Once settled into his career and family life, Pennington was ready to find ways to give back.

An opportunity presented itself at Waubonsee when he connected with Dr. Scott Peska, assistant vice president of student services and alumni relations.

Pennington began attending the foundation golf outing, then was elected to the board of directors in December 2022. He serves on the golf subcommittee and investment committee, where he finds he can have a direct influence on scholarships.

"To make an impact on students and be a part of that process, when I was lucky enough to get that scholarship 30-plus years ago, that's what I wanted out of this trusteeship," Pennington said.

He encourages alumni, or anyone looking to pay-it-forward, to find a way to get involved.

"The world needs more people who are passionate about ways to give back," Pennington said. "Anywhere you can make a positive impact is important. Waubonsee is top of the line for me because of what they did for me."

The foundation scholarship application for use during the 2024-25 academic year is now open.

Current and prospective students are encouraged to apply by visiting

Completing one online application ensures consideration for over 160 scholarships the Foundation administers, many with multiple awards ranging from $250 to $3,500.

The mission of the Waubonsee Community College Foundation is to cultivate philanthropic donors, to responsibly steward its assets and to equitably award scholarships to students to help them achieve their educational goals.

Questions about the work of the Waubonsee Foundation Board and scholarship program may be directed to the development office at or (630) 466-2316.

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