Apply for a 2017 scholarship from the Community Foundation

Be open and honest. That’s the advice Esmeralda Jinez would give to Quad City high school and college students this year as they apply for scholarships from the Quad Cities Community Foundation.

Jinez, a 20-year-old Western Illinois University electrical engineering student, received more than a dozen scholarships while she was applying for college. One of them was a $2,500 Gene S. Duke Scholarship from the Community Foundation. “Put yourself out there,” she said. “Scholarships have opened so many doors for me.”

The Community Foundation is currently accepting applications for its 2017 scholarship program, including 32 different scholarships. Some of them offer more than one award.

Among those are scholarships geared specifically for students planning to study in skilled trades, including automotive, health sciences and technology. Additionally, two new scholarships have been added this year—the Bryant-Holmes Scholarship for Mercer County High School and the Gustav A. and Gerda H.C. Anderson Scholarship.

Jinez applied for a large number of scholarships because her family, which moved to the United States from Mexico in the 1980s, didn’t have the funds to send her to college. While in high school, she was a two-year member of the Community Foundation’s Teens for Tomorrow Program, which provides high school juniors and seniors opportunities to learn about philanthropy by researching and awarding their own grants in the community. 

Jinez is also currently on the Community Foundation’s Q2030 Grant Committee, which reviews and selects grant recipients for Q2030 Grants.

“It is exciting when you see a student take their education seriously and really make the most of the support they are given,” said Dana Berggren, program associate. “Esmeralda is a great example of a young person who has received support, encouragement and funding from her community and has positively impacted that community in so many ways. We love having her involved at the Community Foundation today.”

Jinez believes staying involved and volunteering to be a good way to give back to the community, something her parents instilled in her at an early age. She remembers her family receiving assistance through organizations like Toys for Tots when she was growing up. 

“We had help,” she said. “So when my father sees how much this community continues to help me, with things like scholarships, he likes that I give back. He supports me in trying to give back as much as I can.”

Click here to learn more about our scholarship program, and apply for a scholarship