Huntington, Ind.— Huntington College sophomore Stephanie R. Bills, an elementary education major from LaGrange, Ind., was recently honored at the 2003 “Realizing the Dream” banquet in Indianapolis. Along with 33 other outstanding first-generation college students, Bills was given the opportunity to recognize a teacher who played an important role in encouraging her to be academically successful and to pursue a college education. Bills chose her High School mentor, Mr. Mickey Schulze from Lakeland High School in LaGrange.
“I chose Mr. Schulze because he helped me a lot during my high school years,” said Bills. “He was my mentor, advised me with my classes and guided me in terms of what college to choose and what profession to follow.”
“Realizing the Dream” is a program that honors first-generation students who have excelled not only academically but also in leadership and campus activities in their freshman year at Indiana colleges. A grant to the Independent Colleges of Indiana from the Lilly Endowment makes “Realizing the Dream” able to contribute to the general scholarship fund of each participating campus in the name of the student being honored.
“I was really surprised to receive this award,” said Bills. “A phone call woke me up one morning and the person on the other line told me she had an award for me. I couldn’t believe it. Looking back I really appreciated having had the opportunity to recognize somebody that invested in me so much.”
The program acknowledges the role that parents and teachers play in determining the direction a student takes as he or she progresses through school. After their individual college chooses each student, they get the opportunity to name a teacher in elementary or secondary school that most influenced them to attend college. A $500 professional development award is given to each of these teachers in appreciation of the good they have done in a student’s life.
Huntington College is a comprehensive Christian college of the liberal arts offering graduate and undergraduate programs in more than 60 academic concentrations. Founded in 1897 by the Church of the United Brethren in Christ, Huntington College is located on a contemporary, lakeside campus in Huntington, Indiana. The College is a member of the Council for Christian Colleges and Universities (CCCU).
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