Thoms Family Above & Beyond Scholarship Winners Announced
The Thoms Family Above & Beyond Scholarship announced Asrielle Allen as the top scholarship winner during a special presentation held on January 24, 2017 at Rock Island High School. Ms. Allen will receive a $5,000 scholarship for her “Girls Leading the Way” project. Other finalists received $500 – $1,000 for the completion of their project. The scholarships are administered through the Rock Island-Milan Education Foundation.
Asrielle’s project, Girls Leading the Way, started in 2016. Ms. Allen trained a group of high school girls on team building and various aspects of leadership. Those girls took the skills they learned and worked together to plan and carryout the Girls Leading the Way Youth Leadership Conference held in September of 2016. Continuing leadership sessions at the high school, the girls studied styles of leadership, different personality types, and Stephen Covey’s “The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People.” The girls will sharpen their leadership and self-awareness skills, and will prepare to teach a breakout session for the Quad City Teen Leadership Academy to be held February.
Three other finalist completed projects of their creation and received the following scholarships:
- Paul Bilori, $1,000, I-Serve. Paul developed a project to create leaders in the community by reaching those slipping through the cracks and providing them the push they need to achieve better grades, better life skills, and support. The goal is to create full bodied leaders of the current generation.
- Elisabeth Hoeper, $500, Projecting Successful Fundraising for Project Linus. Elisabeth’s project was to raise funds for the Midwest non-profit service organization, Project Linus, which provides and delivers blankets to children. Her efforts through raffles, hosting events, and soliciting donations, raised $1,235.
- Kylie Wymer, $500, The Recycled Library – Kylie created her project to provide every student, K-6, in the Rock Island-Milan School District, a book they could keep and take home. At the project’s end, she will have distributed approximately 3500 books to all the elementary schools of District 41. She received donations from hundreds of people throughout the community and has collected over 5,000 books – well exceeding her goal of providing a book to each child.
“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.
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.