The Kohl’s Department Stores’ Kohl’s Cares® Scholarship Program honors more than 200 deserving volunteers with $1,000 scholarships toward post-secondary education. Twelve children from the Chicago area were chosen from more than 37,000 nominees nationwide for making a positive impact on their community—and Geneva's is one of them.
Through the Kohl’s Cares Scholarship Program, Kohl's is assisting deserving youth pursue a college education at a time when 55 percent of bachelor’s degree recipients at public colleges borrow money and are finding education increasingly difficult to afford.
"From feeding the homeless at a local shelter, collecting goods for the less fortunate or volunteering time at a community garden, these kids are making a huge impact on communities nationwide. We are inspired by their stories and are thrilled to recognize their service,” said Julie Gardner, Kohl’s executive vice president and chief marketing officer.
Local recipients of $1,000 scholarships are:
- , 8, Geneva – Tommy has raised more than $1,700 by selling lollipops for Project Mobility, an organization that makes custom bikes for people with disabilities.
- Mihir Boddupalli, 18, Lisle – Mihir organized Be The Match Registry Drives to raise money and awareness of the need for individuals to join the bone marrow registry to help patients in need of life-saving bone marrow transplants.
- Darryl Harrell, 17, Flossmoor – Through his charity, WhyNotPartyWithAPurpose?!, Darryl raises money and supplies for local nonprofits that focus on homelessness and poverty including raising $6,000 for a teen robotics program, organizing volunteers to chop and deliver wood in a farming community and organizing teens to assemble "hope for Haiti" boxes.
- Rebecca Hirjak, 8, Lowell – Rebecca has raised approximately $40,000 for the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation through her team, Rebecca’s Rescuers, by organizing fundraisers including more than 140 walkers in the Walk to Cure Diabetes in Merrillville.
- Sujit Johnston, 17, Rolling Meadows – Sujit volunteers with Chess Without Borders as a coach, assistant tournament director, documentarian and fundraiser and has assisted the organization in raising more than $35,000 for charities.
- Kasey Meadows, 18, Plainfield – Kasey volunteers at a therapeutic riding facility assisting disabled children develop into confident, happy and healthy children by teaching horseback riding lessons that work on developing muscles and skills.
- Kate Miller, 12, Tinley Park – Kate donates her time and money to help animals in need at a local animal shelter by cleaning cages, making and distributing flyers for donations and donating her own money.
- Samantha Moeller, 9, Braidwood – Samantha spent a summer vacation volunteering at Kindness Ranch in Wyoming which takes in various animals who had previously been used at research study facilities and also made a donation of almost $600 to the Ranch that she collected through various fundraising methods.
- Liz Niemiec, 17, Michigan City – Liz founded the Little Wish Foundation, an organization that has raised $28,000 and granted the wishes of 15 children with cancer.
- Lauren Tasiopoulos, 17, Green Oaks – Lauren created the "I Want To Be A Lifesaver" foundation and has raised more than $60,000 for pancreatic cancer research after losing a family member to the disease.
Winners are chosen based on initiative, creativity, leadership and generosity. Each regional-level winner qualifies for one of Kohl’s 10 national scholarships, which will be announced at the end of July. National winners will each receive a total of $10,000 in scholarships and Kohl’s will donate $1,000 to a nonprofit organization on each national winner’s behalf.
In total, Kohl’s will recognize nearly 2,200 awardees with nearly $420,000 in scholarships and prizes. Since the program began in 2001, Kohl’s has awarded more than 13,000 youth volunteers with more than $2.6 million in scholarships and prizes.
For more information, visit www.kohlskids.com.
This article is courtesy of Kohl's Cares.