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ECC Foundation’s Purses with Purpose giving circle awards $18,000 in scholarships to 15 students

In keeping with its mission to empower and inspire women to achieve their potential through education, the Elgin Community College Foundation's Purses with Purpose giving circle has awarded 15 ECC students a total of $18,000 in scholarships for the 2017-2018 academic year.

Scholarship recipients are Beatrice Banda, Heidi Irene Ramos-Bangit, Jessica Falco, Hajra Farooq, Victoria Ford, Antonia Gavina, Griselda Alonso, Maria Guerrero, Leticia “Lety” Murillo-Guevara, Hannah Keith, Rachael Ann Jackson, Jaedyn Olson, Aimee Padilla, Brianna Russell, and Lauren Soohov. Recipients are pursing credentials in nursing, pastry and culinary arts, communications design, business, early childhood education, and theater. Nearly half of the scholarship winners are attending college while raising a family or are adults returning to college to further their educations. While balancing demanding class and study schedules, many of the students are involved as volunteer leaders on campus or in the community and at least four are members of the Phi Theta Kappa international honors society.

“The resilience and determination these students have demonstrated in pursing their chosen vocation is truly inspirational, and I congratulate them,” said Katherine Sawyer, executive director of institutional advancement and the ECC Foundation. “Donors to the ECC Foundation understand that some dreams need a little help, and the Purses with Purpose Scholarship offers resources to help these people make a difference in their lives and in their communities.”

The Purses with Purpose giving circle was launched in fall 2012 to empower women through the gift of education to help them achieve their full potential. Over the past five years, the group has awarded more than $65,000 to 38 students and is also building an endowment to ensure their intentions have perpetual impact.

Committee Chair Carol Broeker, one of the giving circle's founding members and an ECC alumnae, is proud of what the group has accomplished.  “I'm deeply honored to lead such a wonderful group of passionate, community-minded women who give selflessly to help our ECC students achieve their academic goals,” Broeker said. “Purses with Purpose has grown stronger since our first gathering in 2012, and I love knowing that the recipients continue to be successful at ECC and beyond.”

For more information about the ECC Foundation's Purses with Purpose giving circle and how you can empower lives through the gift of education at ECC, contact the ECC Foundation at or 847-214-7377.


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