The College of LAS is proud to offer numerous scholarships to academically strong admitted Illinois residents with financial need.
Read about some of the inspiring students whose lives have been changed thanks to the generosity of our donors.
Interested in donating to similar efforts to help students throughout LAS? Learn how.
“I am eternally grateful for how this scholarship has lifted such a heavy burden off the shoulders of myself and my parents." — Ivie Osagiede, recipient of the Margaret Ann and George William Hann Scholarship
During her childhood in the south suburbs of Chicago, Ivie Osagiede developed a fierce passion for life sciences. Sitting in her grade school classroom, she fondly remembers learning the impossibly perfect structure of the cell and skeletal system and the major biomes of the world.
“These topics interested me more than anything else I studied,” Osagiede recalled. “They stood out most because I really enjoyed memorizing the different parts of things and how they interact.”
Osagiede is now a sophomore in molecular and cellular biology with the potential to secure two minors in chemistry and French. Though she nearly chose a different plan of study, it only took one course within MCB to solidify her choice.
“Molecular and cellular biology is particularly fascinating, because we can't see any of it and yet it has such a massive impact on our lives. A few molecules can make a world of difference,” she said. “Everything in the life sciences has a cause and effect.”
One day, she hopes to become a pediatrician or obstetrician.
“My dream specialty is heavily influenced by who my clientele would be,” she said. “I believe I would create the best relationships with these populations, and a healthy doctor-patient relationship is critical for quality care.”
Choosing Illinois was an easy decision as it was her best option academically and financially. “Initially, I was drawn to the school’s rigorous biology program; then, my generous financial aid package sealed the deal,” she said. “Receiving the Margaret Ann and George William Hann Scholarship has allowed me to study at Illinois without worries. I don’t have to worry about debt or student loans or whether I can afford to spend another semester here. I am eternally grateful for how this scholarship has lifted such a heavy burden off the shoulders of myself and my parents.”
“This opportunity really expanded my world. I believe I genuinely received a holistic liberal arts education. I am definitely satisfied with my educational experience.” — David Lee, recipient of the Stanton R. Cook Scholarship
David Lee was a senior in high school when the 2016 primaries and caucuses captivated the American public. As the historic narrative played out, Lee was entranced by the processes, people, and nuances of the American political procedure. That’s when the Champaign native realized political science could be a natural fit for his future.
Four years later, Lee is poised to graduate with bachelor’s degrees in political science and economics. He plans to attend law school before heading to work within public policy for the State of Illinois.
“In political science you have to know a little bit about everything,” he explained. “At the end of the day you need to know how to analyze things and the hard science behind action. I really wanted to know more than just how to win an election but more about the studies and facts behind the scenes.”
When applying to schools, Lee considered several options; however, Illinois was his top choice as it had the most to offer him in terms of programming and financial support.
“A large portion of my student loan capacity was taken away because of the Stanton R. Cook Scholarship I’ve received,” he explained. “I still have some on my plate, but I don’t feel like I’m compromising. It’s amazing.”
Lee’s Illinois experience has been framed within a context of successful internships, exploring his faith, and his work for the student government. Since October 2018, Lee has worked as a columnist for The Daily Illini where he has written about the college student experience and the 2020 election cycle, a topic reserved for senior writers.
“That’s the hottest topic right now for everyone,” he explained.
Within the College of Liberal Arts & Sciences, Lee has taken classes outside of his major areas of study to gain a broader educational foundation through philosophy and religion courses.
“This opportunity really expanded my world,” he said. “I believe I genuinely received a holistic liberal arts education. I am definitely satisfied with my educational experience.”
“It only made sense to choose Illinois. [My scholarship] has allowed me to become independent at age 19. It’s made the difference of a lifetime to support myself and pay my expenses.” — Krystyna Madel, recipient of the Mathy Family Scholarship
Home sweet home for Krystyna Madel is sweet home Chicago; however, the fabric of her identity isn’t so straightforward. You need only eye her computer screen or even her phone to find her story is a bit more extraordinary.
Madel’s parents moved to the Chicago area months before she was born. The new parents had little time to adjust to American culture before Madel was learning to talk and, a few short years later, entering school.
“The first years of my life were as if I was in Poland, because my parents only knew that culture,” she explained. “I was born in Chicago, but my parents spoke very little English before I went to preschool. I still have a very strong connection to Poland though I’ve spent the majority of my life in Chicago.”
Madel’s first language is Polish, and she spent her adolescence traveling to Poland to visit family. As an Illinois freshman, she makes great attempts to maintain her connection by tuning into Polish politics and news, reading in Polish when possible, and even setting her default language to Polish on her electronics.
“It’s a part of my life; it’s a part of me,” she said. “I grew up for so many years existing in this Polish frame. At the foundation, I’m Polish. I think it’s important to maintain that, and I’m very lucky to have that. I don’t know how I’d feel about losing the way I grew up.”
Madel is a Spanish major who speaks four languages–Polish, English, Spanish, and Russian.
“I’m a logical thinker,” she said. “I do well with a methodological thinking, and I believe languages fall within that.”
While weighing options after high school, Madel applied to six schools and ultimately made her decision to attend Illinois based on the university’s proven success and the opportunity for financial support through scholarships. As the child of immigrants, Madel is the first of her generation to navigate post-secondary education in the United States.
“It only made sense to choose Illinois,” she explained. “I didn’t have any older siblings to tell me how to navigate that. Expenses at home would make it really tight for my parents to provide any funding for my college education. Coming here to college has been the best year of my life so far. Overall, the Mathy Family Scholarship has allowed me to become independent at age 19. It’s made the difference of a lifetime to support myself and pay my expenses.”
Read more stories
Every year, the College of LAS helps students from various backgrounds and fields of study pursue possibilities by providing scholarships. The students featured above are just some of many who benefit from the generosity of donors.
View additional stories from scholarship recipients:
- Juan Camargo, Yvonne S. Quinn and Ronald S. Rolfe Scholarship
- Madeline Decker, Jean Crist Weagant and William G. Crist Memorial Scholarship
- Kirsten Dillender, Donald A. Smalley Fellowship
- Lotanna Ezenekwe, College of LAS Lincoln Scholar
- Daniel Fitzgerald, College of LAS Lincoln Scholar
- Heather Holmes, Multiple scholarships
- Haydn Lambert, Wirt Family Scholarship
- Michael Mitchell, Eakman Scholarship
- Nicole Odulate, College of LAS Lincoln Scholar
- Anthony Salazar, College of LAS Lincoln Scholar
- Nidhi Shastri, Gary V. Kaiser and Patricia Kaiser Scholarship
- Vanessa Sumano, College of LAS Lincoln Scholar
- Lawrie Zhang, James D. and Dorothy C. Dilorio Scholarship and James A. Hagan Liberal Arts & Sciences Scholarship
Enjoy these stories?
In addition to named scholarships, the College of LAS supports students' dreams through the Lincoln Scholars Initiative. Meet our Lincoln Scholars.
Inspired to get involved?
The College of LAS offers many opportunities to help students throughout the college. Learn more.