Rock Island High School Senior Wins Thoms Above & Beyond Scholarship
Rock Island High School Senior Anna Pienta was announced as the winner of the $5,000 Thoms Family Above & Beyond Scholarship on Tuesday, January 25 at the Rock Island-Milan Board of Education meeting.
The Thoms Family Foundation created the scholarship in 2003 to encourage and reward the leadership and entrepreneurial spirit of Rock Island High School students.
“Anna was selected as the $5,000 grand scholarship winner because of her tenacity in dealing with an issue she is passionate about,” stated Tom Thoms. “When she was told she couldn’t do something the way she had hoped, she investigated her options and met the challenges. We are confident that this quality will serve her well in pursuing a degree in Environmental Science.”
Ms. Pienta’s project, E-Green-Recycle, was to educate schools, businesses, and community on the importance of properly disposing of their electronics waste (E-waste). Ms. Pienta planned an E-waste disposal day event and collected over 9,000 pounds of E-waste from more than 100 people. After the E-waste was collected, she researched disposal options and carried out the task of disposing the material. Anna researched options, found creative ways to properly dispose of the E-waste and learned about our community’s need for more E-waste recycling opportunities.
In total, four students from Rock Island High School competed for the grand scholarship. The other three participants received $500 scholarship for the execution of their respective projects:
- Sarah Diamond created and hosted the Shelly Weiner Memorial Tennis Tournament, earning $2,000 for the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation, in honor of a Rocky tennis player.
- Jazmin Taylor organized her project, titled College Bound, Career Sound, with a focus on providing adult role models for high school students. The main event was a college and career fair at Rock Island High School.
- Travontae Williams built the Green Growers Botanical Garden at Trinity Community Baptist Church to promote plant and wildlife conservation.