My Heart is in Art Scholarship

The My Heart is in Art Scholarship is not accepting applications in 2019 – 2020.


A. Applicant must be a graduating high school senior
B. Who resides within Boone, Stephenson or Winnebago County
C. Who is pursuing a bachelor’s degree in the Visual Arts or Visual Arts Education
D. Has a GPA of at least 3.5/4.0
E. Intends to pursue a career in the Visual Arts or Visual Arts Education

Applicant must submit three examples of their work within the visual arts. Please label with applicant’s name, phone number and scholarship name.


Deborah Fye Webb: n. energy, enthusiasm, passion, creativity, dedication, wife, mother, grandmother, artist, teacher, entrepreneur, fun (synonym: “That crazy lady!”)

Deb was born in Freeport, Illinois, and graduated from Freeport High School with the dream of becoming an art teacher. She enrolled at Northern Illinois University to pursue a bachelor’s degree in Art Education which she obtained in three years.

As often happens in life, Deb’s dream took a different turn as she settled into the roles of wife, mother, and homemaker. She called upon her education as she started a family using her creativity to entertain her children, teach them, and shape their imaginations. She also used her artistic abilities to decorate her home, design and make clothes for her family, and sell small pieces of art for a little extra money.

Several years later, Deb found herself a single mother of three young daughters, without a job, without a home, and with $35 in her pocket. However, Deborah Fye Webb is a survivor and believes in making things right, making life better for herself and for others.

Unwilling to take difficult situations at face value, Deb sorted out her circumstances and went about providing for her family. So, with an entrepreneurial spirit, a strong work ethic, and a determination to thrive, she started an interior design business and became a licensed interior designer in the early 1990s.

Still, Deb wanted to teach.

She inquired within Freeport School District but found no openings. Then, she learned of an opportunity with Durand Elementary School. Deb finally, officially, became an art teacher…with one minor detail; Durand had no classroom for her.

No matter. Deb traveled from classroom to classroom with her “Art on a Cart”. For the next few years, she worked out of a closet shuffling supplies, delighting students, and realizing her dream. She eventually moved into a classroom and later became Durand High School’s art teacher.

In 1999, Deb had another dream – to take her high school art students to Europe so they could personally experience some of the world’s artistic masterpieces. And, of course, she did just that.

Over the following twelve years, Deb organized Durand Art Boosters – art students and their parents – in fundraising efforts that resulted in six bi-annual trips to Europe for more than 70 students. Along the way, Deb encouraged and challenged her student-travelers asking questions that helped them think through their approach to art as well as to life. She believes in and teaches the importance of communication, responsibility, dedication, compassion, leadership, confidentiality, trust, honesty, success, and the satisfaction of reaching a goal in spite of overwhelming obstacles.

The rhythm of Deb’s life continues to be helping people become their best, even when they don’t believe in themselves. She holds herself to high standards and expects her students to work as hard as she does. Obstacles are not tolerated as excuses; they are meant to be overcome.

Would you like to support the My Heart is in Art Scholarship? You can make a donation directly to this fund, to help grow its impact and ability to provide educational resources for students in our community — forever!

Online Application


Unless otherwise noted, scholarships have a deadline of February 1 at 5 p.m.

How to Register & Apply

Apply Now


Contact Ciara Stahly

+1 (779) 210-8209

Email Ciara

Scroll to Top