Thoms Above & Beyond Scholarship

Rock Island High School Senior Jalea Jackson Wins
$5,000 Thoms Family Above & Beyond Scholarship

The Thoms Family Above & Beyond Scholarship announced Jalea Jackson as the grand scholarship winner at a reception for the finalists at Rock Island High School on Tuesday, January 24th, 2012.  The announcement was made during a ceremony immediately preceding the Rock Island School board meeting.

Jalea’s project, Lean on Me Benefit Concert, was aimed at raising awareness and the funds to support The Place 2B, a not-for-profit drop-in-center for teens 14 to 18 years old.  She found passion for an organization in need of funds to replace their central plumbing system along with food and clothing for the program.  The result was a huge success by raising gross revenues in excess of $9,800.00.  When asked why she was driven to this project, she reflected, “As I think about my life and all the opportunities my parents have been able to give me, I began to think about the children who are less fortunate.” From this simple thought and her hard work she exceeded her goals and will be recognized with a $5,000 college scholarship.

Ms. Michelle Lillis, a RIHS teacher/coach, stated in her recommendation “I am in awe of Jalea’s potential prospects as her natural intellectual curiosities will open doors for a prosperous and rewarding future.”

Stu Thoms, Dylaan Bibbs, Jalea Jackson, and Tom Thoms

Stuart Thoms (founder of the Scholarship) stated, “This year’s finalist are three young women who represent the essence of Rock Island High School and the willingness of our youth to make a difference.  I am humbled by the efforts of these students to better our community.”

The other finalists and $500 scholarship winners are:

  • Samantha TaylorPersonal Care items for St Josephs Worker House – Her goal was to donate 2,500 personal care items for homeless women and children.
  • Dylaan Bibbs Rise Above Program (RAP) – A positive and enriching program for teens that helps them through their struggles and empowers them with knowledge that they have a voice.

For more information on the Thoms Family Foundation please contact Thomas W. Thoms at 309-269-0398.

Note: The Thoms Family Foundation created the scholarship in 2003 to encourage and reward the leadership and entrepreneurial spirit of Rock Island High School (RIHS) students.  Any RIHS student, regardless of race, economic status or academic standing, may submit a proposal the spring of their junior year on an original project of their choosing.  Potential topics for proposals could explore business/entrepreneurship, conservation, technology, community service, or politics.

Download a pdf of the press release: 2012 Thoms Family Above & Beyond Scholarship Winners