Rockford Area Habitat for Humanity College Scholarship recipients featured by Rockford Register Star
The Rockford Register Star featured past Rockford Area Habitat for Humanity Scholarship recipients Tiltyla and Syeria Stone, who also happen to be mother and daughter, in an article about this scholarship this week. View the original article, "Rockford Area Habitat for Humanity offering college scholarships; deadline is Feb.1" here. The article was reported and written by Andrea V. Watson, Rockford Register Star.
Residents of Rockford Area Habitat for Humanity homes are eligible to apply for a college scholarship to either begin or continue their education.
The deadline is Monday.
The scholarship was established in 2005 by Ed and Kathy McCaskey to provide financial assistance for residents of the Rockford Area Habitat for Humanity homes. Scholarship amounts go up to $1,200, with up to four recipients being selected this year. Recipients are selected by an independent committee at the Community Foundation.
One mother and daughter said they’ve been fortunate to have received the Habitat scholarship more than once. Tiltyla Stone received it for the 2018-19 and 2019-20 school years. Her daughter Syeria Scott has been awarded the scholarship three times since 2017.
“Any free money for school is always beneficial,” said Scott, who is a graduating senior at Wilberforce University in Ohio. She’s studying social work.
She encourages everyone to apply for scholarships. “As of right now, I’m not in debt at all because of the scholarship and others I’ve received,” she said.
Her mother used her Habitat scholarship to help pursue a master’s degree in social work. She graduated last May and now uses her degree as a part-time therapist at Resilience Counseling. She also works for the Illinois Department of Human Services in Winnebago Country at the Family Community Resource Center.
The Community Foundation of Northern Illinois administers the scholarships. It has one application that allows you to apply to more than 90 scholarships, all with a Monday deadline to apply. Some of the other scholarship programs include Alpha Delta Kappa Xi Education Scholarship, Amanda Reed Memorial Scholarship, Annie and Oscar Blackwell Scholarship Fund, Betty Harlan Memorial Art Scholarship and the Billy Smith Memorial Scholarship.
Stone encourages people to apply. “I was able to take out fewer loans, and each year I applied I was a recipient,” she said. “Not just for Habitat, but other agencies awarded me scholarships as well.
“There are generous people out there who have designated funds to help people further their education, and so I’d encourage people to take advantage of that opportunity to lower their debt and in some cases eliminate the debt altogether.”
Caitlyn Baylor works as Habitat for Humanity’s homeowner services coordinator and also oversees the scholarship program. She said they’ve awarded $30,000 scholarships to date. On average, four recipients are selected. They’re able to apply each year.
“The purpose of this scholarship is to make a step towards a beginning or completing a degree feel more obtainable,” she said. “There are no strings attached. It’s purely there to make post-secondary education a little more accessible."
If a recipient is unable to start a program in the fall, the CFNIL will hold the scholarship for up to one year. To apply: Visit cfnil.org/scholarships and follow the instruction under “How to Register & Apply.”