Local Foundation Awards College Scholarships to Gold Award Girl Scouts

Local Foundation Awards College Scholarships to Gold Award Girl Scouts

Four Gold Award honorees from Girl Scouts of Greater Chicago and Northwest Indiana have received college scholarships from the Corinne Jeannine Schillings Foundation in Frankfort, Illinois.

Alexandria Basset of Glen Ellyn, Illinois; Jaina Chu of Hoffman Estates, Illinois; Shannon Layng of Riverside, Illinois; and Jessica Zarik of Crown Point, Indiana were among 12 students who were awarded scholarships to study a foreign language. Six students were also selected to receive scholarships to study abroad.

The Corinne Jeannine Schillings Foundation was established to honor the memory of Corinne Jeannine Schillings, a former Girl Scout who was an avid traveler and believed strongly in higher education for all women. Corinne lost her life in the Baltimore Water Taxi accident in 2004.

“My husband, Denny, and I are extremely proud of how the scholarship recipients represent Girl Scouting and also Corinne’s legacy,” said Corinne’s mom, Karen M. Schillings, who is co-founder of the foundation and a longtime Girl Scout volunteer and historian. “Corinne was such a giving person, and I feel that the girls we ultimately choose have that same sort of characteristic. They’re able to give of themselves and really that’s what Girl Scouts teaches our girls.”

Bassett is attending North Central College where she is majoring in German/secondary education and minoring in English. Chu is attending Brandeis University where she is majoring in biology/Hispanic studies and minoring in health: science, society and policy. Layng is attending University of Chicago where she’s majoring in biological sciences and minoring in Latin/classics. Zarik is attending Aquinas College where she’s majoring in community leadership and minoring in Spanish.

Their submissions were among 115 applications from 24 states and were selected based on a rigorous rubric that included their transcript, a recommendation from a Girl Scout volunteer or staff member and a personal essay.

“It’s such a difficult decision selecting the girls because they’ve accomplished so much already,” said Schillings. “Every time we award a scholarship, it’s really heartwarming to see the girls write back and share how much it means to them. They’re carrying on Corinne’s legacy, sharing their aspirations and how they’re going to change the world.”

Since 2005, the foundation has awarded scholarships to more than 200 Girl Scouts who’ve obtained their Silver and/or Gold Award, which are the highest awards a Girl Scout can earn. To learn more about the foundation and the scholarship requirements, visit www.cjsfoundation.org.

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