Community Pulse: Wrapping Up the School Year

May 19, 2023


With summer just around the corner, we at Community Foundation of Grundy County have spent the last couple weeks wrapping up our programming that includes high school students.


The majority of our scholarships were created for the benefit of high school students continuing their education at a college, university, or trade school.  In the last couple weeks our local high schools have held their spring award ceremonies, so we can now happily announce the 2023 high school scholarship recipients!


Andrew Forillo of Minooka High School is the recipient of the $1,000 Pete Muffler Scholarship for Fire Science.  Andrew plans to attend Joliet Junior College where he will enter the Fire Science program.


The $500 Grabowski-Olson Automotive Scholarship was awarded to Cody Mahoney of Minooka High School.  Cody plans to attend Universal Technical Institute where he will major in Automotive Technology.


The McCormack-Hill Scholarship for Seneca High School provided 4-$1,000 scholarships.  The recipients of these scholarships are:

Brady Barla, Brady plans to attend Illinois Valley Community College where he will major in Cybersecurity.

Christopher Poyner, Christopher plans to major in Electrical Engineering at University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign.

Maggie McDonald, Maggie plans to attend Illinois State University and major in Early Childhood and Elementary Education.

Stephanie Bernhard, Stephanie will attend Joliet Junior College with an intended major of Social Work.


Thursday, May 11th we held our Annual Youth Philanthropy Awards Night at Morris Country Club.  This event brings together all of our young philanthropist, their families, local organizations, community members, and school personnel to celebrate the work of the young philanthropists. During the 2022/2023 school year students from Coal City High School, Gardner South-Wilmington High School, Morris High School, and Seneca High School participated in the Youth Philanthropy Program, that serves to educate youth on the not-for-profit organizations who serve their communities.


Throughout the course of this program, students invite not-for-profits whose missions align with students’ interest to present to the students on their organization’s mission, programs/services, and funding needs. The Community Foundation of Grundy County provides each student group with $5,000 to grant to the not-for-profits in any way they choose. Organizations are presented with those grants at the awards night.  This year’s award recipients are as follows:


Coal City High School

Megan’s Mission $1,000

Beans-N-Bites $2,000

Coal City Backpack Program $2,000


Gardner South-Wilmington High School

Grundy County Sheriff’s Department $350

GSW Student Assistance Fund $900

CASA of River Valley $1,200

Catholic Charities $1,200

Beans-N–Bites $1,350


Morris High School

Morris Rotary Backpack Program $500

Children’s Advocacy Center $1,500

CASA of River Valley $3,000


Seneca High School

Grundy Area Pads $833

We Care of Grundy County $833

Grundy County Health Department $833

CASA of River Valley $2,500


I want to thank all of the schools and organizations for participating in this year’s program, without your support, we would not have a Youth Philanthropy Program.


Even as we just begin summer, we at Community Foundation of Grundy County along with our partners, are already working on programs that will take place this fall.  More to come on those. But for now, I wish all of our students a safe summer and the best of luck on their future endeavors!