2014 Scholarship Winners


The Rock Island-Milan Education Foundation awarded $53,800 through 51 scholarships at the Academic Achievement Awards and Scholarship Night at Rock Island High School on Wednesday, April 23, 2014. With the $7,000 in scholarships the Education Foundation awarded in January, a record $60,800 in scholarships was awarded this year to 53 graduates.

2014 RIMEF Scholarship Winners

                       2014 RIMEF Scholarship Winners

Scholarships awarded were as follows:

Charles O. Austin, Jr. Leadership Scholarship: Alex Hardcastle, $1,000. Established in 1984 by Mr. Austin in appreciation for his years of work in Rock Island as Principal of RIHS from 1951-1965 and as Superintendent of Rock Island-Milan Public Schools from 1966-1973.

Carole S. Barkan Memorial Scholarship: Quavanese Teague, $500. New this year, established by her family in memory of Carole’s life devoted to home-bound tutoring and advocating on behalf of many students.

Class of 1961 Scholarship: $500 each to Masengo Aime, Erinnd Blanco, Jane Gray, Destiny Hearn, Marcus Jackson, KiAnna Jones, LaCresha Linton, Ciza Olevia, and Luis Perez. New this year, funded by the graduating class of 1961 to help deserving Rocky graduates.

Class of 1965 Scholarship: Camie Herbert, $500. The RIHS graduating class of 1965 chose to work together to endow a scholarship for a graduating senior.

Stanley H. Coin Business Scholarship: Alec Aunan, $1,000. Established by American Bank & Trust to honor Stan Coin, a RIHS Graduate, for his years of dedication as a leader in the community and philanthropy.

Rick Gilliland Memorial Scholarship: Bibiana Hernandez, $500. Rick Gilliland was a long-time teacher in the Rock Island-Milan Schools who touched the lives of thousands of children during his career. His family established a scholarship in his memory.

Hass Family Scholarship: Jerome Thomas, $1,000. Established and funded by the Hass family (many of whom are RIHS graduates) in honor of their parents, Mary and Art Hass.

Amy Helpenstell Liberal Arts Scholarship: Helena Smiley, $1,000. Amy Helpenstell was a RIHS graduate of the class of 1988. After her passing in 2003, her family set up a scholarship for RIHS students in her memory.

Jumer’s Casino and Hotel Scholarships: Jasmine Babers, $3,000, Alexia Avena, $2,000, and Antonetta Axup, $1,000. Funded by Jumer’s to honor and support three outstanding RIHS graduates who have demonstrated academic and social achievement.

Judith A. Katz Memorial Scholarship: Steven Nowinski, $4,000. Judith Katz was valedictorian of her graduating class at Rocky and was active in fine arts. After her death, her family endowed a scholarship in her memory.

R. Decker Magee Memorial Scholarship: Trey Sigel, $500. Decker Magee was a RIHS alumnus who died tragically a few years after his graduation. His family endowed a scholarship fund in his memory.

Marler Clark Science Scholarship: Julianna Jespersen, $2,000. Established after a class action lawsuit, it is intended for students who wish to pursue a college degree in a field of science.

Herb Niemann Scholarship: Evan Morris, $1,000. Herb Niemann was a long-time Rock Island teacher and principal. His family, friends and colleagues established the scholarship in his memory.

Charlie White / Richard Klatt Purple Tuna Creativity Award: Leah Daughtery, $500. This new scholarship was established by 1983 Rocky grad Cary Hinze in honor of his RIHS art teachers Charlie White and Richard Klatt.

Darrell and Mary Anne Reynolds Scholarship: Lexis Bragg, $1,000. The Reynolds established the scholarship to reward a hardworking student with the potential for a successful future.

Darrell and Mary Anne Reynolds Automotive Scholarship: Jamal Morrow, $1,000. A new scholarship established by the Reynolds to encourage students to pursue training and a career in the automotive industry.

Rock Island-Milan Education Foundation Scholarships: The RIMEF sponsors three, $1,000 scholarships: one for a student attending a vocational field, one for a student attending a junior college, and one for a student attending a four-year college. The RIMEF Vocation winner was Christopher Ehimwenman. The RIMEF Junior College winner was Laxmi Gurung. The RIMEF Four-Year College winner was Katherine Phillips.

Thoms Family Above & Beyond Scholarships: Created by the Thoms family to identify and honor Rock Island High School juniors who demonstrate problem solving, organizational, and leadership skills in projects of their own choosing. This year’s finalists winning $500 scholarships were Jasmine Babers, Destiny Hearn, Mackenzie Leatherman, and Nidia Villapando. The $5,000 grand-prize winner was July Paw.

Chet Schultz Scholarship: Nicholas Niles, $1,000. Chet Schultz’ family established this scholarship in honor of his longtime successful career as a Rocky wrestling coach.

Elizabeth Kennel Williams Scholarship: Necode Ndagijimana, $500. A 1986 RIHS graduate, Elizabeth died unexpectedly in January 2014. She dedicated her career to helping students deal with the challenges they had in their lives.

Women’s Computer Science, Math & I.T. Scholarship: Tlang Par, $500. Funded by a Rock Island citizen to encourage women to pursue a degree in one of these fields.

DW Young Memorial Scholarship: Cole Neder, $4,000. Established by his family in memory of the late DW Young, a strong supporter of Rock Island schools.

Criteria for the awards included academic achievement, participation in extracurricular activities, financial need, teachers’ recommendations, and a personal essay.