Community Pulse: Scholarships available through the Community Foundation of Grundy County

March 11, 2024


We may sound like a broken record, but it is scholarship season and we cannot stress enough how much money is out there for Grundy students.

For us, we administer six (6) scholarships: Pete Muffler scholarship for fire science, Jacob Perry Music & Performance Arts scholarship, McCormack-Hill scholarship for Seneca High School, Grabowski-Olson Automotive scholarship, Farrell Education scholarship, and the Farrell Journalism/Communications scholarship.

The applications for all of these can be found at Each one has a different application deadline, so please review carefully.

In addition to the scholarships that we administer, we also hold a huge amount of funds for scholarships where the schools and organizations manage the application and awards – we just send the money to the colleges and trade schools.

The funds that we steward for scholarship include the Anderson, Siron, McTague, Funk, Gordon, and Ciota funds for Morris Community High School; the Mark Smith, Minooka Lions Club, Minooka Women’s Club, the Collins and Sprague scholarship for fire science, and the Minooka Education Fund for Minooka Community High School; the John Martin Steele #6049 VFW Post for Morris and Minooka High Schools; and the Rezin Family Endowment for the high schools in the 38th Senate District.

Just by scrolling social media, we see so many additional scholarships that are not housed here, but are available to Grundy students. If you are a parent or grandparent with a senior in high school, please double-check that your student is connecting with their school counselors to get a list of all scholarships available to them.

It’s sad to hear each April/May about how many scholarships go untouched simply because no students applied.

Also know that not all scholarships are for only high school seniors. Our two Farrell scholarships are for students entering junior or senior year of college and are $10,000 each to assure that students are completing college. We don’t want students to stop their higher education simply due to lack of money.

As you read the list of scholarships that we already steward, do you notice how many of them are named for someone? If you are interested in helping Grundy residents to complete higher education, whether community college, university, tech or trade school, you can design a scholarship with your family name on it, too.

Here at the Community Foundation of Grundy County, you can design a scholarship to honor a loved one or to tackle an issue that you care about. If you want to address the career gaps that we have in Grundy County, you can create a scholarship to graduate more workers in that field and put a condition on it that the scholarship recipient has to work in Grundy County for X years after graduation.

As the creator of the scholarship, we will help you design a scholarship that meets the needs of today’s students. As the donor, you can be part of the application review and selection committee, which is staffed by us to assure that the selection process complies with our National Standards.

As you think about the scholarship that you want to design, please consider the higher costs of education today. A single scholarship of $500 used to be significant. Today it barely covers the cost of books. Please also be thinking about the variety of education available after high school. Almost all careers need some form of training, certificate, or degree, so can you fund a scholarship to help assure that all careers across Grundy County have a steady flow of trained workers?

Preparation for careers after high school needs more training after high school than it used to.

On a personal note, if you know of a Grundy high school senior entering the military this summer, please let me know. The veteran posts across Grundy have begun a reception each spring to recognize those seniors who have chosen to enter the military and to answer any questions the senior and their families may have. Like all careers, the military isn’t the same as it was in our parents’ and grandparents’ times, so there are always questions that we hope we can answer.

If any post-service student has questions about the G.I. Bill and other military-related education benefits, please be sure to reach out to the Grundy County Veterans Assistance Commission at 815-941-3152.

Congratulations to the Class of 2024! Regardless of your education and career path, Grundy County is proud of you and look forward to what you can accomplish!


Julianne Buck is the Executive Director of the Community Foundation of Grundy County, located in the historic Coleman Hardware Building at 520 W. Illinois Avenue in Morris. Their phone is 815-941-0852 and her email is [email protected].