Forty-eight current and former foster children are now getting the chance to go to college. The Illinois Department of Children and Family Services awarded four-year scholarships to students from around the state, which will waive tuition and fees for any public university or local, in-district community college in Illinois.
One of the recipients is Brittany Britton, a National Honor Society student from Benton who plans on studying veterinary medicine at Southern Illinois University Edwardsville.
“I’m feeling very honored,” Britton said. “It seems like it’s a really big deal to get this and I’m kind of in awe of everything right now.” The program began in 1964 with four scholarships. Dave Clarkin of the DCFS feels that as the program has grown, the recipients have achieved greater and greater things.
“What’s amazing about them is not just they’ve overcome adversity,” Clarkin said, “but they’ve really become role models in their own communities.” The 48 honorees were selected from 238 applicants across Illinois on the basis of academic achievement, involvement in their communities, and an essay.