Rockford Promise signs record number of scholars

Rockford Promise introduces a record number of new scholars this year, and it says that number is only going up.
Published: Apr. 6, 2022 at 10:44 PM CDT
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ROCKFORD, Ill. (WIFR) - Rockford Promise not only keeps it’s promise, but makes it even bigger, awarding more than 175 students scholarships to Northern Illinois University. Staff says the best part is that number is only increasing.

“It feels fulfilling to know everything I worked up to, did something,” said Scholar Recipient Emma Carmona.

Carmona is a senior at Jefferson High School in Rockford. She says that since she was little, she’s dreamed of being the first person in her family to go to college. Wednesday night, that dream came to life.

“I get to do it without the dwelling thought of oh my gosh....” said Carmona. “I am going to have to pay all this back when I’m done.”

She’s one of the 175 students awarded a scholarship from Rockford Promise to attend NIU this fall on a four-year ride.

“If you’re a confused high schooler, it does pay off,” says Carmona. “Because everything you work toward will get you toward the future that you want.”

Board President Susan Fumo mentions how the program impacts kids just like Emma. The non-profit group gave five students scholarships in 2016. Now, it gives nearly 200. “We are making education accessible to families that just never saw it as an option,” says Fumo.

Thanks to this opportunity, families see education as an option. By signing their names, recipients commit to a promising future not only at NIU, but in society.

“I mean this is why people run for office, to make a change in peoples lives,” said Rockford Mayor McNamara. “And Rockford Promise is doing that.”

McNamara also says this not only creates a better future for the kids, but also the community, because they are the future. He’s also confident in the long term vision that education for youth will reduce the number of violent crimes.

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