ILLINOIS WOMEN IN LEADERSHIP SCHOLARSHIP RECIPIENTS

2020 High School Scholarships

Kenya Apongule

High School: Springfield Southeast High School
College: Spelman College
Intended Major: Sociology Career
Interested in pursuing: Medicine

 As a young girl, I found myself being very timid and shy; I never was brave enough to put my voice to use. Continuously biting my tongue, I never spoke up for what I believed in. As I’ve become more courageous since discovering my voice, I now find myself being the most outspoken person I know, as I loudly state what I stand for. I feel true change has to start with oneself and I take pride in acknowledging that my voice is stimulating change within my community. I express my voice through my writing, especially with spoken word poetry. I recently posted to social media a poem I wrote, entitled Dark Skin Struggles, which received a lot of positive feedback from the students and administration at my school. This month, I was announced as a finalist for the NPR Illinois ‘This I Believe’ essay contest. My essay, “My Black is Beautiful '' emotionally captured my struggles with self-love when coming from a community filled with the hatred of racism and colorism. I believe with my writing and my voice, I adhere to the principle of encouraging others. By using my voice, I show other people how just stating what you believe in, can stimulate true change within a community. I wish to continue creating change within my community by always giving back and helping out where help is needed. My essay has sparked so much conversation between my peers and even adults; I can’t stop here. I hope to one day follow in the footsteps of the leaders of Illinois, who are resilient and intelligent women, by using my voice and actions to create change.

Another principle that I aspire to follow throughout my life is, “I will seek educational opportunities.” I feel like there is no such thing as too much knowledge. There’s always room to learn more and I don't want to stop my educational journey after I finish medical school. I want to be remembered as a leader of Illinois who continuously aimed to create positive change while always being open to learn more. I plan to attend the number one historically black institution in America, Spelman College, in the fall of 2020. It’s been my dream school since the sixth grade and I'm proud to say I’ve achieved my goal of being accepted. Being surrounded by intelligent and resilient black women at the top HBCU, is an aspiration I hold close to me. But the cost of Spelman frightens me because I come from a single parent home where my mom is already burdened with the expenses of endless medical bills. I don’t want to increase her worries of trying to figure out a way to pay for my tuition with no support. I now visualize that my dreams are within reach and the 2020 Illinois Women in Leadership High School Scholarship will help turn my dreams of changing the world into a reality. 


Zoe Chase

High School: Springfield Southeast High SchoolZoe
College: Washington University in St. Louis
Intended Major: Philosophy-Neuroscience-Psychology Career
Interested in pursuing: Physician

It takes more than giving orders and organizing plans to be a real leader. Leadership is setting a precedent for others, and guiding the pack in the direction of success. While for centuries it was a commonly held belief that women couldn’t be leaders, females have proved that notion wrong by taking charge and setting an example for future men and women: we can do anything we set our minds to and lead with grace, instead of leading with force.

A leader must give back to their community. As a future doctor, I plan on servicing my community by providing medical advice and listening to what my patients have to say so I can give them the quality of care that they deserve. In addition to this, I plan to teach and mentor others that have an interest in going into the medical field-- whether it means talking to the little girl in the doctors office about science and how the human body works or teaching medical students how to perform an appendectomy, I will lead by example and inspire future generations to follow the legacy that I am living.

Giving back to the community is also a way that I can empower others. Educating others on how to be more proactive with their health and make decisions that will heighten their vitality will enable them with the ability to lead a life that they want to live, make informed medical decisions,  and take their future into their own hands. One thing that I experienced as a high school student that I carry with me today was a workshop at Feinburg Medical School in Chicago, IL, which was essentially a trauma 101 class on how to perform basic first aid that could potentially save someone’s life; I hope to one day lead that same workshop and teach those in my community first aid so that they are strengthened by knowledge on how to help those around them in an emergency situation.

I will set the precedent. I will leave a legacy. I will lead my community with pride. I am a woman in Illinois, and I believe that the ability to lead is inside of everyone-- and the only way to unlock that is by empowering them with the tools and skillsets to take on the future.


Lillianna Maguire

High School: Lanphier High School
College: University of Illinois Chicago
Intended Major: Criminal Justice Career
Interested in pursuing: Lawyer/ Attorney

Demonstrating leadership in my community has become natural. It´s something I enjoy doing, I love the feeling of being there for someone when they need it the most. To me leadership is not a title you can slap by your name, it´s helping others, educating, and aspiring to change our world. I plan to leave a strong prosperous legacy, by giving back to my local community and high school in the future, and by educating my future children, peers, and colleagues.

I am now involved in Compass for Kids, which is a program that is designed to help at-risk kids. This program takes place after school at a local elementary school. We provide the children with an afterschool snack and teach them social-emotional support. Following the lessons, we tutor the kids with their homework and assist with any other school work they need help with. At the end of the night, we all sit down and have dinner together like a “family¨. Participating in this program has truly been an honor of mine.

Entering high school, I knew what I accomplished academically, and athletically would be my ticket to college; that it wouldn't be as easy as playing the Hasbro Game of Life. It hit me that in just four years I will graduate, and start my career path, but now the journey through high school is almost over. High school has definitely been a life-changing experience.

With college just, a few months away I have decided to Major in Criminal Justice and Minor in Political Science at the University of Illinois Chicago. My path to college hasn’t been easy, it has been an adverse one filled with many obstacles. Giving up now is not an option, especially with adulthood approaching in another four short years.  Winning this scholarship will help prevent the burden of student loans and make college a lot more affordable.

We are commonly asked while growing up what do you want to be when you get older? This is a question that I have frequently struggled with. Growing up, I wanted to be a doctor, teacher, FBI agent, and even a WNBA star. Throughout the years, I have been indecisive about what I want to be but one thing that hasn’t changed is my determination to ̈be successful ̈. I realized that everything I’ve wanted to be growing up involved a leadership role and that’s what I plan to do. I will be the change in my community and family that leads us in the right direction, providing a better and brighter future.

2020 Chrysalis Scholarship
no recipient

2019 High School Scholarships
Erin Gheen, Springfield High School, $1,000
Christina Huffman, Lanphier High School, $1,000
Katelynn Paulen, Lanphier High School, $1,000

2019 Chrysalis Scholarship
Emma Todd, University of Illinois at Urbana, $1,000

2018 High School Scholarships
Emma Bolinger, Springfield High School, $1,000

Marley Stubblefield, Rochester High School, $1,000
Hannah Wyatt, Springfield High School,  $1,000

2018 Chrysalis Scholarship
Diana Ford, Lincoln Land Community College, $1,000

2017 High School Scholarships

Julia Ares, Pleasant Plains High School, $1,000
Carmensa Remolina, Springfield Southeast High School, $1,000
Alina Sinha, Springfield High School, $1,000

2017 Chrysalis Scholarship
Yvette Cundiff- Granzeau, University of Illinois - Springfield, $1,000

2016 High School Scholarships
Michelle Hedlund, Pleasant Plains High School, $1,000
Kaylee Nichols, Williamsville High School, $1,000
Janek Squibb, Glenwood High School, $1,000

2016 Chrysalis Scholarship
Eryn Krueger, Benedictine University, $1,000
2015 High School Scholarships
Courtney Chapman, Rochester HS, $1,000
Bridget McClain, Sacred Heart-Griffin HS, $1,000
Kaitlyn Fleigle, Chatham Glenwood HS, $1,000

2015 Chrysalis Scholarship
Eryn Krueger, Benedictine University, $1,000
2014 High School Scholarships
Alana Aragon, Glenwood High School
Marissa Byers, Glenwood High School
Elizabeth Hamill, Springfield High School

2014 Chrysalis Scholarship
Jaime Hawk, St. John's College of Nursing

2013 High School Scholarships
Tare Emuze, Southeast High School
Anna Gates, Springfield High School
Natalie Knox, Springfield High School

2013 Chrysalis Scholarships
Jennifer Whitcomb, Robert Morris Univeristy
Caaroline Ziogas, University of Illinois Springfield

2012 High School Scholarships
Maggie Cornelius, Springfield High School
Gwendolyn Nuding, Rochester High School
Katie Price, Tri-City High School

2012 Chrysalis Scholarship
Donna Webb