Clark State Community College will host the Champion City Scholars (CCS) Program induction ceremony at 10:30 a.m. on Tuesday, November 3 at the Hollenbeck Bayley Creative Arts and Conference Center, 275 South Limestone Street in Springfield.
The 43 inductees are eighth grade students currently enrolled in the Springfield City School District. Upon graduation from Springfield High School, the students will receive up to three years of tuition, books and class fees at no cost to them. This is the 12th class of Champion City Scholars Program students that have been selected. The Clark State Foundation offers the Champion City Scholars students the option of a free college education at Clark State.
“The Champion City Scholars Program would not be possible without the generosity of Warren G. Elliott and his family,” said Clark State President Dr. Jo Alice Blondin. “Clark State and the student participants are grateful for their generosity, vision and commitment to ensuring a college education for these students through strong mentorship, career guidance and personal development.”
Elliott was a highly-respected dentist and oral surgeon in Springfield. After he passed away in 2006, his family donated funds to help establish the Champion City Scholars Program that bears Dr. Elliott's name.
Steve Vrooman, manager of the Champion City Scholars Program, said each prospective CCS student submitted an application, a personal essay and had recommendations from a school staff member and an adult in the community. A team from Clark State, Springfield City School District, Champion City Scholars Program mentors, Clark State Foundation Board members and community volunteers interviewed each student.
“Program personnel, interviewers and school personnel believe the selected students show potential to be successful in college,” said Vrooman. Each Champion City Scholar student represents the first person in their family to attend college.
Once inducted as a Champion City Scholar, students must maintain eligibility by meeting a minimum 2.0 GPA requirement, have a good school attendance and behavior record and exhibit positive citizenship. They must also attend Champion City Scholars Program activities including monthly mentor meetings, quarterly activity days and retreat/seminar days to continue to be eligible for the Champion City Scholars Program.
The induction program will include a welcome from Clark State Vice President of External Affairs Kristin Culp followed by remarks by Clark State President Dr. Jo Alice Blondin, Springfield City School District Superintendent Dr. Robert F. Hill and Clark State Foundation Chair and Champion City Scholars Program mentor Mark Elliott.
“Following the program, students will be introduced individually and be welcomed into the Champion City Scholars Program,” said Vrooman.