Thoms Family Above & Beyond Scholarship

RIHS Senior Molly Thompson Wins $5,000 Thoms Family Above & Beyond Scholarship

The Thoms Family Above & Beyond Scholarship announced Molly Thompson as the top scholarship winner during a special presentation held on January 13, 2015 at Rock Island High School. After competing with four other finalists, Ms. Thompson will receive a $5,000 scholarship for her “Above & Beyond” efforts. All finalists received a minimum of $500 for the completion of their project. The scholarships are administered through the Rock Island-Milan Education Foundation.

Molly’s project, Bigger Brighter Futures, grew from her own personal struggles in school. Molly was diagnosed with a brain cyst four years ago and transferred to Rock Island High School to get the extra attention she needed in their Special Education program. Molly, a senior, is about to graduate high school a semester early. Molly states, “My life changed completely for the better when I transferred to Rocky. I am ‘paying it forward’ to my school with a project that will continue for years to come.”

Her project raised funds for new appliances for the Living Center of the Special Education Department at RIHS. These appliances help students in the program learn life skills for independence after graduation.

Ted Thoms, scholarship chairman, stated, “Ms. Thompson’s project was very involved, and her organization and tenacity in the face of obstacles really demonstrated her ability to go above and beyond. A great number of students’ educations will be improved as a direct result of her efforts.”

Four other finalist completed projects of their creation and received $500 scholarships:

Elizabeth Kasimu, One Voice for All

Katelyn McChesney, Sew-in-Style

Madelaine Perry, The Purple Stitchery

Hannah Rodriguez, Penning the Past

“I continue to be amazed by the efforts our Rock Island High School students put forth for the betterment of our community and themselves. I am hopeful for our future as I see these student engage and grow,” stated Stuart W. Thoms, Founder.

2015 scholarship winners Hannah Rodriguez, Molly Thompson, Elizabeth Kasimu, Katelyn McChesney, and Madelaine Perry with Mike, Ted and Cosette Thoms

For more information on the Thoms Family Above & Beyond Scholarship please contact Ted Thoms at 309-269-4041 or visit

Note: The Thoms Family Foundation partnered with the Rock Island-Milan Education Foundation to create 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.