Schulter Foundation Scholarships: Helping students in their journey to college

By Patrick Butler

College is going to be just a little easier for students like Haley Pienton, Dalia Arroyo, Daniele Anderson and Cassie Kielnik thanks to the Gene and Rosemary Schulter Foundation.

Gene Schulter (left) awards Haley Pienton a scholarship.

Gene Schulter (left) awards Haley Pienton a scholarship.

Pienton, a Walter Peyton High School graduate now studying to be a crime analyst at Pomona College in Los Angeles, plans to study in Paris, then get an internship with the Washington, D.C.-based Police Foundation.  She hopes to land a job analyzing crime statistics back home in Chicago.

During her high school years, Pienton worked summers at Mrs. Murphy’s Irish Bistro, 3905 N. Lincoln Ave., where she met the Schulters who would come in for brunch every Sunday

“They told me about the scholarship program and urged me to apply,” Pienton said. “It was a great help.”

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Past Schüler Scholarship winners Dalia Arroyo (left) and Cassie Kielnik share a moment before going off to their jobs as youth leaders at the Neighborhood Boys and Girls Club. Photo by Patrick Butler

Arroyo, Kielnik and Anderson learned about the scholarships almost as soon as they became youth leaders at the Neighborhood Boys and Girls Club, 2501 W. Irving Park.  As soon as NBGC “members” turn 13, they’re eligible to apply to become youth leaders who earn extra money by performing a variety of duties ranging from refereeing games to helping out at the front desk.

They’re also eligible to apply for a variety of scholarships, including the ones offered by the Schulter Foundation, said Bill Abplanalp, NBGC’s development director and a member of the club’s scholarship committee, which awards $40,000 worth of scholarships annually from several donors, including the Schulter Foundation.

Arroyo, a 2014 scholarship winner, plans on studying either psychology or neuroscience at Loyola University or the University of Illinois/Chicago.

The Schulter Scholarship "is a big factor for many of our kids who might otherwise not have been able to go to college.  A lot of our kids here come from families that just can't afford the fees for many of the colleges around here," said Bill Abplanalp of the Neighborhood Boys and Girls Club.   Photo by Patrick Butler

The Schulter Scholarship “is a big factor for many of our kids who might otherwise not have been able to go to college. A lot of our kids here come from families that just can’t afford the fees for many of the colleges around here,” said Bill Abplanalp of the Neighborhood Boys and Girls Club. Photo by Patrick Butler

“They’ve always been an interest of mine,” said the Lane Tech sophomore and four-year member of the NBGC as she left to supervise soccer practice. “I tell my kids they went to do something that’s fun for them.  That they don’t want to get into something they really don’t like.”

Kielnik, who won her scholarship in 2012, agreed.

The accounting major who is now in her last year at DePaul University went to Lincoln Park High School and has been going to the NBGC since she was five years old.

Why accounting?  “My grandma was an accountant so I guess I’s kind of following in her footsteps,” Kielnik explained.

Anderson, a Lake View High School graduate, is now pursuing a graduate degree in advertising at the University of Illinois/Urbana. Lake View High School Principal Scott Grens said “the annual scholarship support provided to our students from Gene Schulter has repeatedly helped our students along in their journey to college.

“This generosity is also a strong example of the history of community commitment benefitting Lake View High School.  Each year our students are encouraged by scholarships such as this, as every little bit helps our students’ success. We are thankful for the support,” Grens said.

Every June, the Gene and Rosemary Schulter Foundation awards the scholarships to graduating high school seniors entering college and eighth-graders entering high school.

To date, the foundation has awarded nearly 30 scholarships.

For more information on qualifications and the application process, e-mail info@SchulterFoundation.org.

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