August 3, 2020

Over the last several months, the Kishwaukee College Foundation has secured fund agreements that have resulted in three new scholarships to support Kishwaukee College students.

The James Salomone Fuerst Culinary Endowment, made possible by donors Carl and Anita Fuerst, will provide annual scholarships to students actively pursuing a degree or certificate in the hospitality and culinary program. Chef James (Jim) worked in construction until his late-thirties, when he decided to pursue his life-long passion for cooking by attending culinary school. “The scholarship is an extension of how Jim lived his life,” says mother Anita Fuerst. “He was always so selfless and was a huge influencer to the chefs who were learning under him. He always gave of himself.”

The Law Enforcement Emergency Medical Services Scholarship is designated for the EMS program, with preference given to a current police officer enrolled in the Emergency Medical Technician course. Donor Joe Przybyla, is an instructor in the Criminal Justice and EMS programs and current police officer. Przybyla explains, “Often police officers are the first responder on the scene of a serious medical incident. By training officers to be EMT's, we can help in those precious minutes before an ambulance arrives and provide care that will save lives.”

The Forging Foundation Scholarship supports students in manufacturing and industrial programs and is a result of a newly formed partnership with the Forging Industry Foundation. According to the Forging Industry Association, “Forging is a manufacturing process where metal is pressed, pounded or squeezed under great pressure into high strength parts known as forgings.” Forgings are commonly found in airplanes, tractors, and automobiles.  Scholarship seeks to provide financial assistance to students and build a pipeline of the best and brightest future employees for the forging industry.

The Foundation works closely with donors to develop meaningful scholarships and agreements that support their unique philanthropic goals, while supporting the mission of Kishwaukee College. “We are excited for these new opportunities for the fall. The Foundation is encouraged and grateful to donors and partners who continue to support our students and the Kishwaukee College mission; especially during these unique and uncertain times,” says Dr. Kayte Hamel, Executive Director of the Kishwaukee College Foundation.

Each of the new scholarships have varying eligibility requirements and submission criteria including GPA, enrollment in a specific number of credit hours, or completion of short essays. For more information on the Kishwaukee College Foundation, including available scholarships, visit Foundation scholarship applications for Spring 2021 will be available beginning September 14.

Categories: Foundation
June 18, 2020

At the May 20 virtual Kishwaukee College Foundation Board meeting, three outgoing Board members were recognized. Jamie Craven, superintendent for DeKalb School District #428, Bruce Griffith, founder and owner of R W Griffith Group LLC and Adriana Milan, risk manager & safety coordinator for the City of Rochelle, completed their terms.

"We thank Jamie, Bruce and Adriana for their years of dedicated service to our Foundation Board,” says Foundation executive director Dr. Kayte Hamel. “We appreciate their leadership and commitment to best advancing our mission to support Kishwaukee College, and we are grateful for their many contributions to our success. We wish them all the best in the future.”

Craven was first appointed to the Foundation board in 2016. He served as board president for two years. “It has been a pleasure to serve on the Kishwaukee College Foundation,” Craven states. “We appreciate all who have continued to support our efforts in helping students from our region make college a possibility and reality. I encourage those businesses, families, and individuals to continue to support this ever-important philanthropic cause and ask that others consider supporting the Kishwaukee College Foundation in the future. I would also like to thank my fellow board members and Kishwaukee College administration for their dedication.” 

In 2016, Griffith, a long-time friend of the College and Foundation, also joined the Foundation board. “I am proud of the work we accomplished as a board. We kept student interests in mind and helped them develop their skills and accomplish their dreams through our Foundation work,” Griffith says.

Adriana Milan joined the board in 2019, filling a one-year term. “It was a pleasure serving on the Foundation board,” comments Milan. “I’m proud to be an alumni and will continue to support the Foundation and all their endeavors.” 

The Foundation Board works closely with College Administration to ensure strategic support for College initiatives that help fulfill its mission of providing quality, affordable education. Kishwaukee College President, Dr. Laurie Borowicz, who serves on the Foundation Board, praised board members for their support and contributions. “The Foundation plays a critical role in supporting the students, programs, and operations of the College. We have been fortunate to have such outstanding Board members who are good stewards of the Foundation resources.”

The Foundation welcomed three new Board members at the May 20 meeting as well. Joining the board are Kristina Garcia, mortgage loan officer at Cherry Creek Mortgage Company, Cole Johnson of Johnson-Pate Pork, Inc. and Brent O'Daniell, superintendent of Genoa-Kingston CUSD #424.

To learn more about the Kishwaukee College Foundation, visit

Pictured: Kishwaukee College Foundation Board has announced that Jamie Craven, superintendent for DeKalb School District #428, Bruce Griffith, founder and owner of R W Griffith Group LLC and Adriana Milan, risk manager & safety coordinator for the City of Rochelle have completed their terms and departed on May 20. The Foundation welcomed three new Board members at the May 20 meeting as well. Joining the board are Kristina Garcia, mortgage loan officer at Cherry Creek Mortgage Company, Cole Johnson of Johnson-Pate Pork, Inc. and Brent O'Daniell, superintendent of Genoa-Kingston CUSD #424. Photo 1: Jamie Craven, superintendent for DeKalb School District #428. Photo 2: Bruce Griffith, founder and owner of R W Griffith Group LLC. Photo 3: Adriana Milan, risk manager & safety coordinator for the City of Rochelle. Photo 4: Kristina Garcia, mortgage loan officer at Cherry Creek Mortgage Company. Photo 5: Cole Johnson of Johnson-Pate Pork, Inc. Photo 6: Brent O'Daniell, superintendent of Genoa-Kingston CUSD #424.

Categories: Foundation
May 2, 2020

The horticulture department at Kishwaukee College will be holding their annual Spring Plant Sale on May 8 from 7:00 am – 2:00 pm in the greenhouse located on the north side of campus. All proceeds from the plant sale will support the Kishwaukee College Foundation’s COVID-19 Student Relief Scholarship Fund to help students facing financial challenges due to the pandemic. Patrons must secure a 20-minute timeslot reservation by making a donation via Eventbrite to shop in the greenhouse.

The Kish Foundation launched a COVID-19 Student Relief Scholarship Fund on April 20 with $50,000 from the Foundation. The Fund provides scholarship support to students impacted by the pandemic. Proceeds from the plant sale will go to the COVID-19 Student Relief Scholarship Fund to support more students. To date, 88 students have applied, and the Foundation anticipates the number of applications to increase the longer the stay-at-home order is in effect.

All plant material was grown in the College greenhouse by students, under the direction of the horticulture faculty, until the stay-at-home order was enacted. “It is so cool – they literally grew scholarships,” remarks Chase Budziak, dean of instruction. Rich Alde, assistant professor of horticulture, reports this is the best crop he has seen in all of his time at Kish.

The plant sale will include annuals, perennials, vegetables, and herbs. There are also hanging baskets and large bags of quality potting mix (2.8 cu. ft.) for sale.

Timeslots must be purchased to shop the plant sale. There is no general admission. Social distancing measures and face masks will be enforced for safety. Four timeslots are available for reservation for each 20-minute interval. One patron per timeslot reservation will be allowed in the greenhouse. Additional guests will be asked to remain in their vehicles or outside and follow social distancing guidelines.

Individuals may purchase more than one timeslot at adjacent times to extend their shopping time. The cost of timeslots decreases throughout the day as inventory decreases. Payment for plant material can be made by check or exact cash only. No change will be given.

Horticulture staff will be on site during the sale to assist patrons and answer gardening and/or planting questions. Members of the horticulture program can assist with plant selection to suit specific needs or wants.

Individuals who purchase timeslots should enter campus using the north (B) entrance on Malta Road and turn right. Directional signs will be posted. Arriving early is encouraged for prompt entrance. Patrons will only be permitted in the greenhouse during their reservation time.

To purchase a 20-minute timeslot for the Kish spring plant sale, visit

For more information about the annual plant sale benefitting COVID-19 Student Scholarships, contact Kayte Hamel, executive director of the Kish Foundation, at

April 23, 2020

Tricia Myers of Sycamore recently accepted a position as foundation coordinator with the Kishwaukee College Foundation. As part of her role, Myers will help advance the Foundation’s mission, manage scholarships and assist with event planning and donor relations. Myers has worked for Angie’s List and USA Track & Field, Inc. and most recently held the position of development assistant at the Kishwaukee Family YMCA.

 “We are excited to have Tricia as our new foundation coordinator. In her short two months with the Foundation, she has proven herself to be a tremendous asset,” says Kayte Hamel, executive director of the Kish Foundation. Recently, Tricia helped organize and launch the new COVID-19 Student Relief Fund to assist Kish students who are facing financial hardships due to the pandemic.

Myers earned her bachelor’s in psychology from the University of Notre Dame and was a member of the track & field team. She currently serves on USA Track & Field’s (USATF) Board of Directors as the elected youth representative and is the organization’s elected national chair of the USATF youth athletics division.

“I hope to continue to bring more awareness to the Foundation and its great work,” Myers comments. “Improving operations, customer service and fundraising will be on-going efforts to create more visibility and enhance the development for students, programs, facilities and the Kishwaukee College community.” In the role, Myers will provide vital support to help progress long term Foundation projects. “The Foundation and Kish College provide significant opportunities for the community. I like being able to make an impact in people's lives through development initiatives and projects,” says Myers.

The Kishwaukee College Foundation is the philanthropic branch of the College and plays an integral role in supporting the College’s mission to improve lives through quality, affordable education. Through the gifts of donors, contributions are used to ensure community members, regardless of circumstances, have access to educational opportunities.

“Tricia is exactly what we needed in the Foundation. Her professional background and knowledge of our communities will greatly benefit the Foundation and help us achieve our goals,” Hamel adds.

For more information on the Kishwaukee College Foundation, visit

Picture: The Kishwaukee College Foundation welcomes Tricia Myers to the staff. Photo: Tricia Myers, foundation coordinator for the Kishwaukee College Foundation.  

Categories: Foundation
March 17, 2020

The Kishwaukee College Foundation announces the student scholarship recipients for Spring 2020. The Foundation awarded 207 scholarships to the total of $138,111. Funds comprise of gifts received from generous members of the community, local business and industry, and area agencies and associations. Students are selected on a competitive basis according to each scholarship’s specific requirements.

The online application process for the Fall 2020 Kishwaukee College Foundation scholarships is now open through April 15. For more information on Foundation scholarships, contact the Kishwaukee College Foundation at 815-825-9803 or visit

AG Communications Endowment
DeKalb: Isaac Vega

Arden Perry & Kathryn Cornell Endowment
Genoa: Anna Hansen and Griffin Hansen

Beulah & Roberta Hackett Endowment Scholarship
Mount Morris: Brandi Ferrari
Rochelle: Maria Macias and Tania Salazar
Sycamore: Ashley Foltz 

Bud & Kay Stocking, Rochelle Rotary Endowment          
Rochelle: Gwendolyn Papke

Charles & Mary Roberts Memorial Endowment
Cortland: Raina Sands
DeKalb: Jose Flores
Kirkland: Amelia Bock
Lindenwood: Heidi Larmon
Malta: Angela Sietsema
Shabbona: Miranda Stryker
Sycamore: Ahmed Elfaki and Morgan Olson

Charles & Mary Roberts Memorial Endowment for Nursing
Chana: Jonah Anderson
DeKalb: Joellen Kile, Kyesha Means and Haley Puffenbarger
Rochelle: Bibiana Milan

Cliff Caruthers & Linda Stoltz Caruthers Memorial Endowment
Kirkland: Amelia Bock

ComEd Endowment Fund Scholarship
DeKalb: Glorie OConnell
Sycamore: Ahmed Elfaki

Dean & Betty Burgemeister Endowment 
Cortland: Gabrielle Farrell
Sycamore: Murron Qualls

DeKalb Area Garden Club Endowment
DeKalb: Hayley Krull
Genoa: Dina Fowler

DeKalb Fire Fighters Local 1236 Memorial Scholarship
DeKalb: Regina Shaw
Genoa: Kristyn Ruegsegger

Donald C. Mack Scholarship
Belvidere: Anthony Thurnau
DeKalb: William Hart
Machesney Park: Rachel Olson
Malta: Scott Hines
Rockford: Vanessa Robles

Don Sanderson Memorial Scholarship     
Steward: Austin Suddeth

Doris & Robert Boey Endowment
Sycamore: Celia Carpenter

Doris V. & Suzanne K. Lewis Memorial Endowment       
DeKalb: Shanice Mallett

Edward Deeke Trust
Shabbona: Caroline Murphy

Eleanor Anglin Price Scholarship
DeKalb: Henry Jackson
Malta: Angela Sietsema
Rochelle: Jennifer Gonzalez
Sycamore: Jialing Chen

Emma Anderson Fund
Cortland: Jennifer Cordero, Theodore DeForge and Alexandria Pena
DeKalb: Abigail Aquino, Clifford Ciesielczyk, Taylor Dunaway, Ian Harrison, Johnathan Hillier, Alexander Hoppe, Cristopher Luna-Trujillo, Arianna Moore, Cameron Smith and Tyler Scarbrough
Genoa: Anna Hansen and Madelynn Grismer
Kingston: Celia Huerta and D'Artagnan Lowe
Kirkland: Amelia Bock
Lee: Raymond Ragan
Malta: Abigail Taylor and John Vera
Somonauk: Lauren Kawall
Sycamore: Megan Antos, Jazzmyn Buckheister, Leticia Cardenas, Celia Carpenter, Kendall Colness, Benjamin Cottone, Derrick Crome, Kelsy Daluga, Trevor Davis, Kaylee DuMont, Ahmed Elfaki, Shannon Kelly, Isabel Odom-Flores, Morgan Olson, Ethan Pardilla, Jarrod Pritchett, Matthew Ray, Lillian Riebeling, Justin Silbaugh, Audrey Shipley and Jheury Feliz Ulloa
Waterman: Arianna Robbins

Employee Give Scholarship Fund
Amboy: Drake Barlow
DeKalb: Jessica Sky

Founder’s Endowment
DeKalb: Jose Flores
Rochelle: Katelyn Ackland and Gwendolyn Papke

George Strick Memorial Education Scholarship
DeKalb: Taylor Dunaway

Goodwill Industries of Northern Illinois Scholarship       
DeKalb: Dakota Montavon

Heartland Bank Community Enhancement Scholarship
Genoa: Briana Busche

Howard & Martha Mullins Endowment   
DeKalb: Haley Puffenbarger

Ine Achilles Scholarship for Horticulture
Shabbona: Kimberly Rotella

Jeanne M. Henderson Memorial Endowment     
DeKalb: Lyindia Brown
Rochelle: Melanie Higueros
Sycamore: Kerina Evenson

Jeremy "JD" Davis Memorial Endowment
Malta: John Vera

Jesus Romero Hispanic Endowment         
DeKalb: Cristopher Luna-Trujillo and Jose Flores
Lindenwood: Heidi Larmon
Rochelle: Lillian Fulgencio

KC Engineering Scholarship
DeKalb: Inamur Rab

Kevin Jensen Memorial Scholarship
DeKalb: Ian Harrison

Kishwaukee College Alumni Endowment
Genoa: Anna Hansen

LaVerne "Dutch" Johnson Endowment    
Clare: Matthew Drake
DeKalb: Grace Gehrke and Ian Harrison
Oregon: Teresa Jacobsen

Les & Deanie Springmire Endowment
Rochelle: Morgan Baker

Mark Joseph Bussone Memorial Endowment
Cortland: Melissa Korzi
DeKalb: Jessica Holuj

Michael Bennett Scholarship        
Genoa: Stephanee Dries

Nancy D. Castle Scholarship
DeKalb: Julia Alvarez, Jose Flores, Cristopher Luna-Trujillo and Miriam Tellez-Soto
Rochelle: Melanie Higueros
Sycamore: Lilian Ndicu

Pat Humo Nursing Fund    
DeKalb: Jamie Jensen  and Brandy Turner
Rochelle: Hadeel Sbeih

Richard Akers Family Endowment
DeKalb: Adriana Aumann-Weyenberg        

Robert and Norma Wildenradt Scholarship
Hinckley: Aurora Grivetti

Rollan Bonneau Memorial Endowment
DeKalb: Evan Rickert and Glorie OConnell

Rowland & Lucille Matteson Endowment
Byron: Madison Rudsinski
DeKalb: Hayley Krull
Garden Prairie: Joshua Turner
Genoa: Dina Fowler
Rochelle: Nyna Oliver
Rockford: Richard Dolan  and Madeline Jirak
Shabbona: Caroline Murphy

Ruth Ashelford Pollock Horticulture Scholarship
Byron: Madison Rudsinski
DeKalb: Hayley Krull
Garden Prairie: Joshua Turner
Genoa: Dina Fowler
Kirkland: Samantha Gonzalez
Oregon: Teresa Jacobsen
Rochelle: Danielle Hurst and Nyna Oliver
Rockford: Madeline Jirak
Shabbona: Caroline Murphy and Kimberly Rotella

Ruth Ashelford-Pollock Nursing Scholarship       
Chicago Heights: Joshua Brown
DeKalb: Tara Keen , Joellen Kile, Shanice Mallett and Angelique Strine
Genoa: Kendyl Strack
Kirkland: Sarah Lyons, Samantha Piper and Laramie Whitis
Lindenwood: Heidi Larmon
Rochelle: Christina Neale and Jimena Roman
Rockford: Chantel Booker
Shabbona: Alexandria Turner
Sycamore: Chelsey Bjelland, Lauren Coon and Ashley Foltz

Ruth I. Hall Nursing Endowment  
Cortland: Jennifer Cordero, Lisa Guzinski and Jessica Long           
Creston: Abigail Kerns
DeKalb: Amber Boyd, Rachael Bumber, Tara Keen, Elizabeth Leon, Savannah Mathis, Sandra Nunez, Julianna Orellana, Lisa Ortegel, Jessica Sky and Angelique Strine
Genoa: Kerri Collins and Kendyl Strack
Kirkland: Sarah Lyons and Samantha Piper
Loves Park: Lakeia Knight
Rochelle: Christina Neale
Shabbona: Alexandria Turner

Sycamore Physicians Scholarship
Sycamore: Mikaela Bishop           

Velta Smith Nursing Endowment Scholarship     
DeKalb: Vivienne Ketchakeu           

Vernon & Dorothy Smith Memorial Endowment
Rochelle: Alexis Bialas and Marisol Garcia

Veronica Ream Endowment
Rochelle: Jennifer Gonzalez

Wayne McIlrath Family Scholarship
Cortland: Lisa Guzinski
DeKalb: Shane Kelly, Regina McWright, Sue Sagel and Matthew Sroczynski   
Genoa: Anton Barton
Rockford: Kellianne Holcomb
Sycamore: Nicholas Darlak, Ashley Foltz and September Perez

Photo: The Kishwaukee College Foundation announces the Spring 2020 scholarship recipients. Applications for Fall 2020 Foundation scholarships are accepted March 1 to April 15. Pictured: Spring 2020 Foundation scholarship recipients.

Categories: Foundation
March 6, 2020

Kishwaukee College annually offers over $550,000 in scholarship funds to students. Opportunities for funding college at Kish include Academic Achievement Scholarships and Kishwaukee College Foundation Scholarships. Applications are now being accepted for the 2020-2021 academic year.  

Academic Achievement Scholarships are non-competitive meaning all students who qualify and apply will be awarded the scholarship. The College offers two different academic achievement scholarships: President’s Scholar and College Scholar. Students graduating from in-district high schools or reside within the Kish district and graduate from a private high school in Fall 2019 or Spring 2020 and achieve a 3.25 cumulative GPA or above are eligible. In-district high schools include: DeKalb High School, Genoa-Kingston High School, Hiawatha High School, Indian Creek High School, Oregon High School, Rochelle Township High School and Sycamore High School. Priority deadline is April 15 and the regular deadline is June 30.

The Kish Foundation Scholarships are made available through the generosity of donors. Together, the Foundation awards over $300,000 in student scholarships annually. Current and new students who will be attending in Fall 2020 are eligible to apply. Information about specific scholarship requirements and application procedures is available online. Foundation Scholarships are competitive and the deadline to apply is April 15.

Kish prides itself on providing quality, affordable education. Scholarship opportunities are one way to alleviate tuition costs.

For additional information about these opportunities and to complete an online application, please visit


November 18, 2019

The Kishwaukee College Foundation held their annual Gala on November 2 at the College. Over 200 friends of the Foundation were in attendance. The evening highlighted the College’s growing athletics program and announced a new $70,000 athletics campaign. Guests enjoyed bidding on over 40 baskets in the silent auction and six items in the live auction. The jewelry auction was also a sell-out. Proceeds of over $35,000 will be directed towards supporting the various activities of the Foundation, including the newly announced athletics campaign.

“This year’s Gala was a great success,” said Dr. Laurie Borowicz, president of Kish. “The College has been working diligently on recruiting local athletes and the event was a good opportunity to launch the athletics campaign while celebrating the Foundation’s success.”

The evening program highlighted the College’s new recruitment and athletics video, focusing on the growth of Kish athletics over recent years. The College is focused on recruiting local athletes and growing the athletic offerings available. Nearly 60 percent of current Kish student-athletes come from in-district high schools.

Kish student-athlete Dennysha Kizer shared her experiences as a collegiate basketball player. “I know this is my final year playing basketball and I am proud to end my career as a Kish Kougar,” commented Kizer. “When I graduate in May, I will either go into the radiography or nursing program, and I look forward to taking the skills I have developed on the court into the hospital and helping patients.” Kizer is a 2018 DeKalb High School graduate and plans to graduate from Kish in Spring 2020.

Scott Kawall, athletic director, spoke on the importance of collegiate sport. From learning time management to developing leadership skills, Kawall reminded guests of the invaluable skills and life lessons students learn through sports, including “losing with dignity and winning with humility.”

The second annual jewelry auction was sponsored by OLT Marketing with items from D & D Jewelers. The live auction, auctioneered by Joel Prestegaard, brought in over $10,000. The six large ticket items included a holiday décor package, poolside dinner with Kish’s president Dr. Borowicz, tickets to Hamilton and overnight package in Chicago, a tailgating package including two Chicago Bears tickets, a private tour and tasting at Whiskey Acres, and an exclusive trip to Notre Dame. 

The celebratory evening also included live music by Bob Palmer, fine dining catered by Chef Rudy Galindo and Jesus Romero from Taxco Restaurant and photography by Roger Kyler Photography. Numerous businesses and individuals donated items to the silent and live auctions and/or sponsored the event.

“Since 1971, the Foundation has supported the mission of Kishwaukee College to provide a quality, affordable education,” remarked Kayte Hamel, executive director of the Kishwaukee College Foundation. “Thank you to everyone who attended and donated to this year’s Gala. Proceeds from the evening go back to ensure Kish students receive the education that will help them succeed.”

The Kishwaukee College Foundation is a nonprofit organization established to advance the future of the College, its students and program. The Foundation works to ensure students receive a quality, affordable education through scholarships and program enhancements. The Foundation awarded $432,864 in scholarships to students in FY19.

For more information about the Kishwaukee College Foundation, visit or contact the Foundation office at or 815-825-9803.

Photo: Kishwaukee College Foundation hosted its annual Gala Benefit Dinner & Live Auction on November 2 at the College. Pictured: Mark Borowicz bids on a live auction item.

Categories: Foundation
October 16, 2019

Nancy D. Castle recently made a donation to the Kishwaukee College Foundation to establish the Nancy D. Castle Scholarship. Castle began the new scholarship to support Kish students who are unable to receive federal financial aid due to their residency status.

While on a tour during the College’s 50th Anniversary Open House in September 2018, Castle learned about the student experience by her student tour guide Cris Luna. Cris shared some of the unique challenges students face due to their ineligibility for specific types of financial aid. It struck Castle as “a situation that needed to be remedied.”

“I hope that access to tuition funds for students who were previously denied will allow them to move through their program faster and more smoothly, to focus more precisely on their field of study and bring greater insight to their ensuing work. When they can do a better job of learning, we all benefit,” Castle states.

The first scholarship awards will be for Spring 2020. To be eligible, students must be enrolled in at least nine credit hours and be in good academic standing.

For more information about the Kishwaukee College Foundation, including scholarship information, visit

Photo: Nancy D. Castle established a new scholarship with the Kishwaukee College Foundation. Pictured: Nancy D. Castle. Photo provided by Nancy D. Castle.

Categories: Foundation
September 19, 2019

The Kishwaukee College Foundation gave out $430,000 in scholarship funds to students last year. Foundation scholarships reward and encourage student achievement, leadership, and involvement, and provide financial assistance for books, fees, and tuition. Students are selected on a competitive basis according to each scholarship’s specific requirements. The Foundation’s scholarship application for Spring 2020 is now open. Applications must be received by October 18.  

Foundation scholarships are made available through the generosity of donors. Current and new students who will be attending in Spring 2020 are eligible to apply. Information about specific scholarship requirements and application procedures is available online.

Kish prides itself on providing affordable, quality education. Scholarship opportunities are one way to alleviate tuition costs. Additional scholarship opportunities will be available through Kishwaukee College in early 2020.

For additional information about Kish Foundation scholarship opportunities and to complete an application, please visit

Categories: Foundation
July 9, 2019

Randy and Kathy Hansen of Genoa raised their children to value a college education. The couple wanted their children to go to college and create new opportunities for their lives. All four of the Hansen children began their college careers at Kishwaukee College.

As first-generation college students, the Hansen children learned ways to successfully navigate the unique challenges of postsecondary environments.  “Kish gave them confidence,” Kathy comments. “If they’d gone to a bigger school, they would have been lost. But at Kish, they were able to find their way and felt like they belonged.” 

The four Hansen children, David Hansen, 25, Danny Hansen, 23, and Tommy Hansen, 21, are Kish alum and Anna Hansen, 18, is taking her first Kish class this summer. All the Hansen children received scholarships to offset the cost of school and the two oldest children, David and Danny, worked part-time as custodians for the Genoa-Kingston school district to help cover college costs.

David received the Kishwaukee College Academic Achievement Scholarship. After graduating Kish with his associate degree in 2014, David went on to NIU to earn a bachelor’s degree in 2016 in Geography with a specialization in Urban and Economic Systems as well as receiving Geography Honors and a Geographic Information Systems certificate. He stayed at NIU for graduate school and received his master’s in Public Administration with a specialization in Local Government Management in May 2018. He now works as the Administrative/GIS Analyst for the Village of North Aurora.

Danny earned a scholarship through Genoa-Kingston High School to support his Kish costs and worked his part-time custodial job to cover the rest of his costs. “He really hit his stride at Kish,” Kathy says. While at Kish, Danny joined numerous clubs and activities on campus including being an active member of the Phi Theta Kappa Honor Society and the National Society of Leadership and Success, even receiving the National Engaged Leader Award. He graduated from Kish in 2016 then went on to earn a double major at NIU in Business Leadership & Management and Marketing in December of 2018. He also earned a double certification in Retail Management and Digital Marketing. He currently is employed as an Engineering Recruiter in Schaumburg.

Tommy also received the Kishwaukee College Academic Achievement Scholarship like his older brother David. Additionally, he earned the Emma Anderson Scholarship through the Kishwaukee College Foundation. A week before starting Kish in 2016, Tommy was a walk on for the Baseball team. “My experience at Kishwaukee College has set me up for success,” Tommy comments. “Kish gave me the opportunity to get an education and play a sport I love at a very affordable price.” Tommy made the Dean’s list every semester while at Kish and was a member of the National Society of Success and Leadership like his older brother Danny.

After completing his associate degree in 2018, Tommy transferred to Bellevue University in Nebraska on scholarship to play outfield on the Baseball team. In his first year at Bellevue, Tommy received the 2019 North Star Athletic Conference (NSAA) Gold Glove Award and Omaha World-Herald All-Nebraska recognition, while earning First team all-NSAA and NSAA Scholar-Athlete honors. His team placed fifth in the nation in the 2019 Avista-NAIA Baseball World Series and were awarded World Series rings. He is studying Health and Human Performance at Bellevue and is considering transferring to NIU for graduate school to pursue Physical Therapy or Kinesiology.   

The youngest Hansen, Anna, received the Academic Achievement Scholarship – President’s Scholar. She was also awarded multiple Foundation scholarships: Emma Anderson Scholarship, Kishwaukee College Board of Trustees Endowment, and the Arden Perry and Kathryn Cornell Endowment. Though she initially planned to begin Kish in the fall, she decided to take a summer class to transition into college. She will begin full-time in the fall and will work part-time at the Genoa Park District.

“College is only as great as you make it, so get involved in as many activities as possible. If I had not gotten involved at Kish the way I had, then my future would have panned out much differently,” Tommy says. “I greatly appreciate all of my instructors, classmates, peers, teammates, and most of all my coach for everything that they have done for me in my two years there. Without them I would not be where I am today.” While at Kish, the three oldest children were able to explore personal interests and career options, allowing them to settle into the unique career path for them.

“Kish made it possible for them to go to school and be successful,” Kathy adds. “I feel great as a mom knowing my kids weren’t getting into financial debt. There is a way to go to college and not come out of it with debt.” 

Photo: Randy and Kathy Hansen, of Genoa, sent their four children to Kishwaukee College to begin their college careers. Pictured: front row, L to R: Kathy Hansen; Anna Hansen; back row, L to R; Danny Hansen; David Hansen; Tommy Hansen; and Randy Hansen. Photo provided by the Hansen family.

Categories: Foundation
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