Dear Classmates and Friends,

The Rock Island-Milan Education Foundation held its annual awards ceremony on May 10th, and we are pleased to report that Pat Brandle was his usual impressive self in handling the twelve $500 awards from our Class of 1961 Scholarship Fund.

In its four year history, our Scholarship Fund has made forty scholarship awards totaling $20,500 to help Rocky graduates get started in furthering their education. Additionally, we estimate the current principal balance of our Scholarship Fund to be approximately $85,000 – so we are moving closer to achieving our goal of having a principal balance of $100,000 for our Scholarship Fund.

Below is information on the 2017 scholarship award winners which we believe you will find interesting and, in several cases, inspiring.


Haley Camlin – Ms. Camlin has been active in the Student Council as well as the softball team and the volleyball team. She is described as a hard worker with an excellent work ethic who creates a strong work product. She has been participating in the dual enrollment Occupational Health program with Black Hawk College and will enter Western Illinois University this fall with 8 college credit hours towards a nursing degree.

Ndayavugwa Collette – Ms. Collette has been on the Honor Roll for four years and has been active with the Student Council and the soccer team. During high school she has transitioned from the English Language Learning program to the standard English curriculum. She is described as honest, hardworking, conscientious and kind, and she plans to pursue an education locally in either criminal justice or as a chiropractor.
Ms. Collette came to the U.S. in 2007 with her family from Tanzania. Here is an excerpt from her scholarship application:
“My parents brought me here to learn. They brought me here to make something out of (my) self since they never got to do it for themselves. They want me to have a better life, a better future for myself, because this is an education that’s not going to (be) mine as in for myself, but an education that I will use to help people out there, people who are in need of help.”

Sui Huem – Ms. Huem is a member of the National Honor Society and the Honor Roll. She has been active in the Student Council and the Environmental Action Club. She has had perfect high school attendance, and is described as a responsible, hardworking young lady, who is eager to get involved in school as well as community activities. She plans to study biology and pre-nursing at Augustana College. She has been an English Language Learner who has transitioned to college-level writing.
Ms. Huem writes in her scholarship application:
“I thought I was never going to be able to pursue my education, and I had so little hope when I thought about my future. However, I am really happy now that I get to try and live out my dreams about the future in real life … I am one of the luckiest girls alive because I am able to go to school in “The Land of Opportunity”, which truly is the United States.”

Dim Huai – Ms. Huai has received the “Modeling Chin Nation Day” award given by the local Chin community for her academic achievement, reliability and for positive role modeling. She is described as an exemplary student and leader with a strong work ethic, tenacity and persistence. She has volunteered at Unity Point Hospital, at her church and played soccer for four years.
Ms. Huai emigrated with her family seven years ago from Myanmar (Burma) and she has been an English Language Learner – her first language is Zo (Chin). She plans to attend Black Hawk College for two years, and then transfer to the University of Iowa to obtain a degree in dentistry.
Ms. Huai writes:
“I will be the first generation in my family to go to college, which is a matter of great pride for my relatives.”
“My father once told me: America is like Heaven; everything is like a dream. And you are here to catch your dreams.”
“My parents risked their life for their children when they moved us from Burma to a refugee camp, and thence to America, in order to have a better life. I am so thankful to them. The gift they gave me is impossible to repay except for to pay it forward and to help others.”
Upon becoming a dentist, Ms. Huai plans to help people save their teeth, especially the poor and the elderly.

  Miranda Meadows – Ms. Meadows is a member of the National Honor Society and has been on the Honor Roll each year in high school. She has been a member of the Student Council, a varsity cheerleader and participated in track and field. She is described as “more than the ideal student” and has demonstrated outstanding leadership academically and clinically.

Ms. Meadows has participated in the dual enrollment Occupational Health program with Black Hawk College and has earned college credit hours toward a pediatric nursing degree from Lincoln College.

  Jacob Naab – Mr. Naab is a member of the National Honor Society and has been on the Honor Roll each year. He participates in the Entrepreneurship and Enterprise Club, the Environmental Action Club and the Robotics Club.
Mr. Naab is described as having an excellent work ethic who has maintained an excellent GPA while taking Advanced Placement Classes, two college credit classes and working part-time to earn money for college.

Mr. Naab plans to become a mechanical engineer and hopes to some day own his own business. He will attend Black Hawk College for two years, and then plans to transfer to a four year college or university.

  Elena Santillan – Ms. Santillan is a member of the National Honor Society, the Honor Roll, the Tri-M Music Honors Society and the Student Council. She is a member of the softball team and has held a variety of part-time jobs. She is described as one of the hardest-working students who takes the lead when placed in a group and consistently produces high quality work product.
Ms. Santillan plans to attend the University of Iowa and major in psychology in order to become a high school or college counselor.

  Blake Schneider – Mr. Schneider is on the Honor Roll, has received the Scholastic Achievement Athletic Award, was Western Big Six Scholastic All-Conference and received the IHSA Scholastic Recognition Award. He has been a member of the baseball team for three years, and the soccer team for four years, including two years as captain.
Mr. Schneider is described as a young man with exceptionally high moral character who personally excels and compassionately helps others. He is said to have embraced the extremely diverse population of RIHS and in his scholarship application he cites teammates and friends from Liberia, China, Mozambique, Mexico, Iraq and Tanzania – noting that 68% of RIHS students live in poverty and 38 different languages are spoken at the high school.
Mr. Schneider plans to attend Wartburg College in Waverly, Iowa and major in social work.

  Taylor Spencer- Ms. Spencer has been a varsity swimmer for four years, including one year as team captain. She is described as a creatively ambitious student with an excellent work ethic, and “one of the more responsible and trustworthy students in the bunch.” She is poised and mature while being kind and caring.
Ms. Spencer plans to attend Black Hawk College for two years, and then Carl Sandburg College in Galesburg to major in dental hygiene.

  Tajae Stoner-Harris – Ms. Harris is a member of the National Honor Society, the marching band and was captain of the softball team. She is described as an excellent peer mentor for fellow students through the Student Ambassador Program. She has helped other students get organized and learn how to study and appropriately interact with teachers. She is called “truly a model of everything a well-rounded student should be.”
Ms. Stoner-Harris plans to attend Prairie View A&M University to become a pediatric dentist.

  Chinue Wilson – Ms. Wilson has been very active in both her school and her community. She has been a member of the Honor Roll, the Environmental Action Club, the Art Club, the Academic Club, Leading Women of Society and the Girls Leading the Way youth leadership conference, as well as competing in track and swimming.
Ms. Wilson is described as a very good student, dependable, hard-working, very intelligent and diligent. She has overcome the loss of her mother to breast cancer several years ago, and plans to attend the University of Illinois. Eventually she hopes to return to Rock Island as a pediatric dentist.

  Caitlyn Treanor – Ms. Treanor has been a member of the Honor Roll, the Marching Band as drum major for three years, the German Club and the Drama Club. Ms. Treanor is described as an outstanding young woman who has excelled both academically and socially during her high school career. She is highly motivated, focused on learning and is very inquisitive.
Ms. Treanor plans to attend Capri College in Davenport to pursue a course of study in Esthetics and Make-Up Artistry. Eventually she plans to own her own business.