I have been truly blessed to receive a number of scholarships from Eastern Illinois University and the EIU Foundation. It goes without saying that these scholarships have helped to lessen the financial burden placed on my family and me.
The cost of receiving a college education in this country is continuously on the rise. We are very fortunate at Eastern to have an administration that is committed to low tuition, low fees, low housing and dining rates, and the best textbook rental system in the nation. Each of these factors work to make receiving an education at Eastern accessible. With that said, our students rely upon scholarships and loans to fund their education. While education is the vehicle to future success, the keys to that vehicle are the numerous scholarships offered through Eastern Illinois University and the EIU Foundation. Scholarships provide access to an education. Education leads to success in our world. Without the unceasing dedication, drive, passion, and financial contributions of our donors and the university’s commitment to scholarships, my success would not be possible.
I am Brett Haines, a junior mathematics and computer science major at Eastern. Over the course of my career here, I have earned several scholarships, including the Buckler Family Scholarship, President Doudna Memorial Scholarship, Kappa Mu Epsilon Calculus Prize and the Vogel Freshman Mathematics Award to name a few. I am fortunate to have these awards, as without them, a college education would be far more costly and possibly unattainable. These scholarships, and more importantly their sponsors, allow me to continue my education without fear of graduating with an insurmountable debt. I am grateful for the Buckler family, the Doudna family, and the Vogel family for helping to support my education.
My name is Nicholas Canady, and I am a senior English major seeking teacher certification. I hope to one day teach junior high English. Since I have been at Eastern, I have received numerous academic and organizational awards from the thoughtful and generous scholarship committees on campus. My proudest achievement is winning the Livingston C. Lord Scholarship during my junior year after being nominated by the English Department. Other academic awards I have won are the Genelle V. Jackson Award for English, the Mary Coon Cottingham Award for English, the Hobart Heller Scholarship, and the Isabel McKinney Undergraduate Scholarship. Because of my involvement on campus as a resident assistant for Thomas Hall and a member of the service organization EIU Pride, I have also won the Brad Wright Memorial Scholarship and the Dr. Weber Minority Affairs Scholarship. This past semester, I also received the Warner Presidential Scholarship for English.
While I have striven to achieve as much as possible in my academics and social contributions to the Eastern community, I recognize that I would not have been able to stay in school without the generosity of the English Department, Minority Affairs, and the Housing and Dining Department. I am currently not in contact with my parents because of personal issues, so I alone have been responsible for funding my education. In short, without the assistance of the scholarships I have received at Eastern, I would have been forced to drop out after my freshman year. Fortunately, the Eastern community that I have come to know is extremely generous and appreciative of student achievement and contributions, and my hard work has certainly paid off. I am grateful to live, work, and learn in such a caring, goal-oriented environment and am confident that, because of EIU, I will realize my dream of becoming a teacher.
My parents used to say I was a fish out of water while growing up. While taking swimming lessons, I was always the last one out of the pool and never missed an opportunity to get wet. My curious mind could always be drawn in by a pretty aquarium filled with colorful fishes. My interest in living organisms and passion for aquatic life is what ultimately drove me to become an environmental biology major at EIU.
Thanks to the Hunt Environmental Biology Award and the Charles B. Arzeni Tropical Biology Scholarship, I was able to fulfill my degree requirements by completing a study abroad course through The School for Field Studies on South Caicos of the Turks and Caicos Islands. While abroad, I stayed at the Center for Marine Resource Studies and worked with a knowledgeable and supportive staff, accomplished and talented professors, and a group of bright students. The course titled Marine Protected Areas: Management Techniques and Policies analyzed the effectiveness of marine reserves off the coast of South Caicos, as well as other MPA’s around the world.
Studying in the TCI introduced me to a life-changing mentor and friend who told me about the internship I’m currently a part of. I recently moved to Key Largo to work and train at Rainbow Reef Dive Center in order to become a master scuba diver instructor. If not for the scholarship and award, I wouldn’t have been able to participate on South Caicos, and thus wouldn’t be where I am today. Words cannot rightfully express my gratitude. I’m in an amazing place doing something I absolutely love, and while there was a price-tag on what got me here, being on the perfect path to my future is priceless.