June 17, 2014

O'Fallon church awards $21,000 in scholarships

New Life in Christ Interdenominational Church in O'Fallon awarded scholarships totaling $21,000 to seven high school graduates during its annual Education Sunday worship service earlier this month.

"These young people are proving that educational success is achievable through hard work and determination," said Bishop Geoffrey Dudley, New Life in Christ's senior pastor. "We are investing in their future and helping them to pursue their goals and dreams."

To date, New Life in Christ has awarded more than $168,000 in scholarships to graduating seniors. Recipients are chosen from the church as well as from applicants who attend various high schools throughout the metro-east. The 2014 scholarship winners are:

* Jeremy Dorsey, Belleville East, John H. McCants Hope Scholarship, $5,000, attending University of Notre Dame

* Evan Meirink, Belleville West, Bishop Geoffrey V. Dudley, Sr. Pastoral Scholarship of Excellence, $5,000, attending University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign

* Olivia Clark, Belleville East, Bishop Leamon and Ida Dorothy Dudley Memorial Scholarship, $2,500, attending Lincoln University-Jefferson City

* Raychael Baker, O'Fallon Township High School, Minister Sheila Renee Swygert Memorial Scholarship, $2,500, attending the University of Alabama

* Audreyana Brown-Nash, Belleville East, Life Changer Scholarship, $2,000, attending the University of New Haven

* Eric Hobson, Belleville East, Life Changer Scholarship, $2,000, attending Jackson State University

* Lauren Reeves, O'Fallon Township High School, Life Changer Scholarship, $2,000, attending McKendree University

This is the eleventh year New Life in Christ has awarded the scholarships.


Edwardsville High School teacher Adam Koester recently received a Star in the Classroom award. Koester was one of 29 teachers from across the state to be recognized with awards June 11 during a teacher recognition luncheon at the Governor's Mansion in Springfield.


Miranda Henry, a saxophonist at Belleville East High School, is hoping to raise $2,500 for the Marching Lancers by winning a national online competition. Individuals can vote once everyday for Miranda online at Voting is open until 11:59 p.m. Monday, June 30.

In other news, Miranda, 16, of Belleville has been selected to participate in a GRAMMY Camp in New York from Aug. 3 through 11. The nine-day residential program offers high school students an interactive summer music experience.


Courtney Bingel, daughter of Bryan and Laurie Bingel of Marissa, was awarded the 2014 Marissa Lodge 881 Masonic Scholarship at a dinner in her honor at the lodge June 2. Courtney was selected for her outstanding achievements in academics, extracurricular activities and community involvement.

She plans to attend Southern Illinois University-Carbondale where she has already earned more than 20 credit hours toward a bachelor's degree in biomedical science. After that, Courtney hopes to attend the University of North Carolina's dental school in order to become an orthodontist.


As part of the Ag Invest program, Illinois State Treasurer Dan Rutherford is launching the second annual Cream of the Crop Photo Contest. Students from across the state can submit their most innovative, scenic snapshot that depicts their vision of agriculture in Illinois.

The contest winners will be featured on the new marketing materials for Ag Invest and prominently displayed at the Illinois State Fair. The top winners in each age group will also receive a $100 deposit in an existing Bright Start college savings account, along with other prizes.

The treasurer's office is now accepting electronic submissions for the contest from Illinois students, ages 8-18, and the deadline for all entries is July 9. Top photographs will be chosen in three competition categories: ages 8-10, 11-14 and 15-18. Each student is allowed to submit up to two photos for this contest.

For more information, visit http://www.Treasurer.Il.Gov or contact Rebecca Huston at 217-558-6217.

Do you have an item for Education Matters or an education-related story tip? We want to know about it. Send your ideas to Jamie Forsythe at or call 618-239-2562. Follow her on Twitter at @BND_JForsythe.

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