Scholarship Stories from the University of Illinois Springfield

Stories of students at UIS and the generous scholarship donors who support their dreams

Month: October 2015

Late start both a challenge and blessing for Kim Koratsky

Kim Kortasky Work by day. School by night.

As so many other students have done at UIS—especially during the years when the University was known as Sangamon State University—this is how Kim Koratsky earned his degree.

As a student, Kim received the Mary and Nelson Howarth Memorial Scholarship, and while he didn’t know it back then, his life and his career would add to the honor Mary and Nelson receive through the scholarship. Continue reading

In baseball, in the classroom, Adam Warda achieves success

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UIS wasn’t Adam Warda’s first choice for college.

Following high school graduation, Adam enrolled at Southern Illinois University, where Adam had a baseball scholarship.

Unfortunately, he suffered an injury and didn’t get to play as much as he had planned. After his sophomore year, he returned home to attend a junior college.

While there, he caught the eye of UIS baseball coach Chris Ramirez, and that brought him to UIS.

He’ll be graduating at the end of fall semester. So even though UIS wasn’t his first college, it will definitely be his last! Continue reading

Grace Latimore–From alone in a crowd to ready for anything

Grace Latimore

Activity swirled around Grace Latimore as she stood in the crowded atrium at UIS during Open Mic Night.

Students talked, laughed, called out friends to the mic, and applauded each other’s efforts.

Only a freshman, but already active on the Black Student Union executive board, Grace had helped plan this event, and she was laughing and having as good a time as anyone.

But she couldn’t help thinking, I’m surrounded by people but still alone. Continue reading

Success…six years in the making for Simon Wilson

Simon Wilson in aisle at commencement

For six years, Simon Wilson fought hard for his dreams, and at Commencement in 2012, he claimed his victory: an undergraduate degree from UIS.

Simon now has a job teaching fifth grade at Butler Elementary, and this past summer, he began a master’s degree in Educational Leadership at UIS.

Not bad for a man who declared in high school:

“I will NEVER go to college. My family is too poor. And even if I did go to college, I would never graduate.” Continue reading

Disappointment and then a satisfying surprise for Kayla Metcalf

Kayla for blog“Hey, you need to look at this!”

Abby, Kayla Metcalf’s friend, eagerly held out her phone to show Kayla a news post.

Abby knew Kayla had recently decided to attend UIS.

The only problem? Kayla was leaning toward a nursing career, and the best she could do at UIS was pre-med. If she really wanted nursing, she would have to transfer to another school after her sophomore year. Continue reading

Overcoming obstacles fulfills Ivette Ortiz’s dream of college

Ivette Ortiz for blog

A faraway goal, way off on the horizon, with no clear path and many obstacles in the way.

From the time her kindergarten class visited a police station, Ivette has wanted to serve her community as a police officer and then someday join the FBI.

But to do so, she would need a college degree—and that seemed impossible.

Continue reading