Rotary Club of Naperville Charities Recognizes COD Scholarship Recipients
The Rotary Club of Naperville Charities recently recognized students from College of DuPage who received scholarship assistance from the club this fall. Since 1996, the Rotary Club of Naperville has provided 125 students with approximately $500,000 in scholarships to assist them with their studies at College of DuPage. Please click here for photos from the event.
"We are very proud to be a part of this program. Each year, we look forward to meeting the Rotary scholarship recipients. It is a very emotional day for us," said Dr. John Sims, Rotary Club of Naperville COD Scholarship Committee Chair. "We are supporting the future of this country's best citizens, and we have a wonderful group of students here today to prove that point. Assisting students with their college education is one of the greatest and most important things we do here at Rotary."
Yashica Weeks, COD Gift Stewardship and Scholarship Coordinator, thanked members of the Rotary Club of Naperville Charities for their continued support of College of DuPage students.
"This scholarship opens doors for our students that leads them to accomplish their personal and professional goals," Weeks said. "We thank you for this incredible program that removes financial barriers for these outstanding students and helps them realize their fullest potential."
The Rotary Club of Naperville Charities program for College of DuPage assists students who are in need of financial aid and have exemplary educational and citizenship qualifications. Fall 2015 recipients of the Rotary Club of Naperville Charities COD scholarship include: Felipe Arias, Elmhurst; Danica Barnitz, Elmhurst; Samuel Franklin, Naperville; Kayla Koskela, Naperville; Shannon McCarthy, West Chicago; and Elissa Pancoe, Wheaton.
Felipe Arias, a student in the COD Pathways to Engineering program who will attend the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign to complete his engineering studies, was born in Bolivia and came to the United States with his family for greater educational opportunities.
"This scholarship will enable me to work fewer hours and concentrate more on my studies," Arias said. "Through this award and with the help of both my high school teachers and College of DuPage professors, I am even more inspired to work hard to reach my goals."
Danica Barnitz, a mathematics major at COD, will continue her studies at Benedictine University next fall where she will focus on a major in dentistry with a minor in mathematics.
"Ultimately, my goal is to be an orthodontist, which means 10 or 11 years of school," Barnitz said. "The Rotary scholarship helped to offset the cost of my schooling this year, allowing me to focus on doing well academically. This award means so much to me. It has helped to solidify my dreams of being an orthodontist, and I thank you very much."
Kayla Koskela is a business major at COD who plans to transfer to Northwestern University or the University of Wisconsin in Whitewater.
"The Rotary scholarship has relieved some of the stress of financing my college education, for which I am very grateful," Koselka said. "Without this worry, I've been able to put my energy toward earning straight As at College of DuPage. You (Rotary members) are contributing directly to my success and I couldn't have done it without you."
Shannon McCarthy is studying Spanish and psychology at College of DuPage. The Rotary scholarship has provided McCarthy with an opportunity to determine the next step in her future.
"Through this scholarship, I have been able to explore my passions at College of DuPage," McCarthy said. "I've been on the tennis team at COD and my dream is to continue collegiate tennis after I leave. Attending college would have been very difficult for me without the Rotary scholarship. Thank you for your generosity and for enhancing my future. I hope someday to help someone pursue their dreams the way you have helped me pursue mine."
Elissa Pancoe is a psychology major at COD who plans to continue her education and eventually earn a Ph.D.
"I am passionate about the field of psychology and want to study how the mind effects a person's overall health and well-being," Pancoe said. "The Rotary scholarship and attending College of DuPage has helped to keep my student loan debt in check. Thank you so much for being there and supporting us. It's wonderful to be in a room full of people who truly care about creating positive futures for students."
Rotary Club of Naperville President Wendy Gross asked each of the scholarship recipients to please "keep in touch" with the club as they move forward in the future.
"It mean so much for us to help students through this scholarship program," Gross said. "We are honored to hear your stories and look forward to learning about your future successes as you continue your educational journey."
Founded on March 31, 1941, the Rotary Club of Naperville celebrates members of the area community who practice and exhibit the idea of Service Above Self. The Rotary Club of Naperville is a member of Rotary International, one of the first humanitarian organizations, with more than 34,000 Rotary Clubs in more than 200 countries and geographical areas with 1.2 million members worldwide. The original founding spirit of Rotary is open to all useful professions and promotes the highest ethical standards, service to others, and to help build goodwill and peace throughout the world.
Established in 1967, the College of DuPage Foundation raises monetary and in-kind gifts to increase access to education and to enhance cultural opportunities for the community. Thanks to Foundation supporters and friends, the Foundation has invested millions of dollars in student scholarships, expansion and enrichment of programs, and other education essentials.