Time is running short to apply for scholarships at the Community Foundation, and it’s best not to wait until the last minute to apply. Through the generosity of our donors, we have more than $1 million in scholarships available each year to students from 60 schools in the Fox Valley. Many scholarship deadlines are March 1!
We frequently receive letters and phone calls of gratitude from students and their parents. We’re incredibly thankful to share the stories we hear, like this one from Benjamin Molitor, a 2017 graduate of Kiel High School. Ben was awarded the Oliver E. Sweikar Scholarship, and allowed us to share his thank-you note:
To the Oliver E. Sweikar Memorial Scholarship Donors and Committee:
Hello, my name is Benjamin Molitor and I’m a third year electrical engineering student as well as an accepted co-terminal master’s in computer engineering student at Illinois Institute of Technology. I’d like to take a moment to thank you for the continued support in my education and helping me pursue my future career, as well as give an update on how it’s all going.
Academically, this past semester went pretty well! I took some classes that covered integral topics for my major, in both electrodynamics and in “Engineering Electronics.” The latter was really an introduction on how to incorporate transistors and amplifiers into circuits, but the course title does sound impressive.
As I engage in topics more rooted in my potential fields, I’m happy to find they don’t make me disinterested, but in fact have encouraged me in that I’ve made the right decision. I also got to experience my first Inter-Professional Projects class. IPROs are a great way to experience project-based learning within a team comprised of different backgrounds and fields of study. In our group, we looked into creating alumni-student relationships through an undergraduate mentorship program. This gives a lot students their first foray into networking, as well as a contact for dealing with the intricacies of transitioning from college into the “adulting” life.
On a sad note, with Probability and Statistics for Electrical Engineers, I’m done taking mathematics courses, which have always been my favorite topic ever since I started school as a kid. Thankfully, I’ll never have to take a probability and statistics class again, though! All in all, I came out with A’s in all five of my classes (I forgot to mention Ancient Philosophy in the paragraph)! I’m excited for my next semester’s classes and what it’ll bring!
Outside of academics, I didn’t have much time for robotics, which was my one major extracurricular, due to dedication to classes, but I plan on stepping up my participation as we go into competition season. That will get me some hands-on experience with wiring, microprocessors, and coding. Lastly, I’ve continued working at the library on campus. It’s a great place to decompress as both a student and a worker, so I’m thankful for that opportunity afforded to me.
The most exciting piece of news I have is that I’ve been accepted into the Co-Terminal Degree program at IIT! Basically, what that means is I’m on course to have a master’s degree in computer engineering by the end of a fifth year. This is very proud moment for me because I’m on course to obtain a graduate degree, a dream I’ve had since I was a kid, as well as how my hard work in the past two and a half years has been recognized with this opportunity. I’m very pleased to have the chance to pursue a master’s degree, and with the time I’ve spent at IIT, I’m happy to do it here with familiar faculty and friends, and in the beautiful city of Chicago.
That should pretty much cover everything! I’m excited for the next semester and what the future has to bring! Thank you, again, for helping me obtain this future and sticking with me through this journey.
2021 3rd year Electrical Engineering Student
2022 Co-Terminal Admitted Graduate in Computer Engineering
In 2019 we’ve awarded $1.36 million in scholarships to 436 students, thanks to the generous people, businesses and organizations passionate about helping students achieve their education dreams! Apply for our scholarships here.