2019 College Scholarship Program

Each year we provide scholarships to deserving Illinois high school seniors so they can attend college. We offer $2,500 scholarships that can be applied to their freshmen year of studies. 

The application process for 2019 ended on March 1. The recipients to our 2019 College Scholarships will be notified if they won around April 1. They will then be awarded at our Back 2 School kickoff event on May 2, 2019 at Galleria Marchetti.

Stay tuned!

Everyone Deserves an Education

There are approximately 44 million Americans with student loan debt. Student loan borrowers with outstanding student loans is $1.45 trillion
-(Federal Reserve Bank of New York - 2017)

We are here to lessen the financial burden for graduating high school seniors.

Funding for the 2019 College Scholarship Program is made possible

through the generosity of:

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2018 College Scholarship Winners

Community Currency Exchange Association of Illinois Recipients


Omar Roman is a senior at Elk Grove High School where he will be graduating with a 4.41GPA (4.0 scale). He has an impressive list of academic accomplishments and extracurricular activities as well as working during part of his time in high school. Aside from his excellent grades and solid test scores, Omar’s hard work led to a laundry list of academic achievements including Student of the Quarter, Best Debate Novice Award, Honor Roll all four years, Best Junior Varsity Debate Award, Best Presiding Officer in a Debate Tournament in the Illinois Congressional Debate Association, AP Scholar Award by the College Board (Summer ’17), Reflecting Excellence Scholarship Awardee by Reflejos Publications 2017, and his team took First Place in the North Suburban Math League at Larkin High School. Additionally, Omar played on the varsity tennis team, was a member of the Spanish Honor Society, and served as a Mastery Lab Tutor. He worked at two different jobs for the Mount Prospect Park District, one as a tennis instructor and the other as a basketball scorekeeper. He also spent time volunteering for Feed My Starving Children and in various roles at the Alexian Brothers Medical Center. Omar plans to attend Case Western Reserve University.

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Sihguat Torres Jr. is a senior at East Aurora High School where he will be graduating with a 4.0 GPA (4.0 scale). His academic achievements are nothing short of impressive. His SAT scores place him in the upper 90th percentile. Among his many honors, he was selected as a QuestBridge finalist, an AP Scholar with Distinction, an Illinois State Scholar, and Student of the Month in the school’s business department. Sihguat is a three-time winner of the Phenomenal Man Award, an annual program in the city of Aurora, which honors students who excel academically and provide service to their community. While spending a lot of time focusing on his studies, Sihguat also made time to give back to his school and community. He served as a math tutor for two teachers, volunteered at the SunnyMere Retirement Home, helped during Sunday mass at The Body Church, and assisted City of Aurora officials during several public events such as the Christmas Festival Parade. Sihguat was also involved in a number of school-related organizations including being treasurer of the National Honors Society at East Aurora, serving as a club member of the Math Honors Society and chairing the Mathletes competitions. Sihguat plans to attend Stanford University.


Isabel Gleason is a senior at Grant Park High School where she will be graduating with a 4.0 GPA (4.0 scale). During her time at Grant, she received a series of academic honors: High Honor Roll, National Honor Society, Illinois Music Educators Association, District Three Alto One, and River Valley Conference Representative for Band and Choir. Isabel was heavily involved in school programs often taking leadership roles including the co-founder of the Environmental Club, varsity representative of World Youth in Science & Engineering, lead female of the Drama Club, varsity representative of the Scholastic Bowl, as well as being a member of the Spanish Club and Math team. Isabel’s passion for music led her to be a pianist for the jazz band, alto in the Jazz Choir, French horn player for the Pep Band, and a soprano in the concert choir. While busy with so many school activities, Isabel also found time to hold down a job as a piano teacher during three of her four years and volunteered her time to be a music director at a children’s camp. Isabel plans to attend the University of Illinois.


Patrick Baartz is a senior at Waukegan High School where he will be graduating with a 3.3 GPA (4.0 scale). Patrick’s SAT score of 1340 put him in the 91st percentile. His scholastic prowess also allowed him to receive distinction to be named a member of the High Honor Roll and become both an Illinois State Scholar in 2018 and a National Society of High School Scholar. At school he played varsity football, served on the prom committee, and was also a member of the Student Section. During his high school tenure, he worked two jobs--one at Six Flags Great America and the other at the Waukegan Field House. In addition to his classwork, school-related activities and employment, Patrick still made time to get involved in his communities volunteering, both at his original high school in South Carolina as well as when he moved here to Waukegan. He donated his time at two religious institutions: The Body Church for Anybody and the Pleasant Prairie Baptist Church. Patrick has helped out at local roller rink and hospital. He also gave up part of one summer to mentor incoming freshmen. Patrick plans to attend Michigan State University.

Tufano Family Recipients


Kristy Liu is a senior at Whitney M. Young Magnet High School where she will be graduating with a 3.96 GPA (4.0 scale). Academically, Kristy excelled in achieving Honor Roll, being named a Principal’s Scholar, and becoming a member of the National Honor Society; she also had the rare distinction of perfect attendance. While attending Whitney Young, Kristy was actively involved in the Asian American Club (AAC) where she served as President. During her tenure she delivered several service learning projects and set up a partnership with the University of Illinois at Chicago’s American Resource Center. Her work with AAC also included being lead choreographer and performing a spectacular Chinese fan and ribbon dance show. On the volunteer front, Kristy put in over 250 service hours with Project Vision, an organization that works with youth from Chicago’s Chinatown and Bridgeport communities to achieve their full potential. Among the work she did for the organization included participation in several fundraisers as well as park and forest preserve cleanups. Kristy also donated service hours to several food pantries, soup kitchens, and shelters. Kristy plans to attend the University of Illinois at Chicago.


Tifani Panek is a senior at Lane Tech College Preparatory High School where she will be graduating with a 5.18 GPA (4.0 scale). Not only does she have impressive grades and SAT score, Tifani also has a number of academic honors to her name including being a Lane Scholar for all four years, an AP Scholar of Distinction, an Illinois Student Assistance Commission Scholar, and a Posse Foundation finalist. Tifani was also very active in school activities. She served as the President of the Cambodian-Thai Club, President of the Girls in Engineering, Mathematics and Science Club, member of the Robotics Club and Founder and President of Think Pink, a club devoted to raising funds and awareness of breast cancer. She also was a mentor for high-achieving seventh and eighth graders within the school. While in school, Tifani also worked several jobs including a paid internship at the Kohl’s Children’s Museum, Friends of the Park Earth Team, lifeguard at Whealan Pool, and day camp leader for the Chicago Park District. She also was active participating in community service for Girls on the Run and Chicago Canine Rescue. Tifani plans to attend either Bowdoin College or Davidson College.



Janessa Knapp is a senior at Prairie Central High School where she will be graduating with a 3.98 GPA (4.0 scale). On the academic front, Janessa has excelled. She is a member of the school’s National Honor Society and served as the organization’s President for three years. Janessa was an Illinois State Scholar and achieved High Honor Roll. She was selected to compete at the ASU Science Fair Symposium, two-time Hugh O’Brian Youth Leadership Seminar, and High School Student of the Month. Janessa has been involved in a myriad of school activities and has often taken on a leadership role. She served as co-captain of both the cross country and basketball team all four years as well as the co-captain of the Fellowship of Christian Athletes. Janessa not only played sports but also sang in the school choir and was a part of the Prairie Central Leadership. While in high school, she held two different jobs--one as a nanny and the other operating a paper route for The Daily Leader. Janessa’s volunteer efforts include packing soup for a world relief organization, fundraising for March of Dimes and Boys & Girls Clubs, and tutoring fellow students at the school. Janessa plans to attend Illinois State University.


Hannah Glass is a senior at Lindblom Math & Science Academy where she will be graduating with a 4.35 GPA (4.0 scale). Hannah excelled in academically, achieving membership in the National Honors Society as well as being an Honor Roll Student. While maintaining good grades she was very busy with other school activities. She was very active with athletics including serving as varsity captain in track and field and in cross country as well as serving as Captain to the Pep Squad this year. Hannah worked on the Yearbook Committee and participated in the National Student Leadership Conference at Harvard Medical School. Outside of school she participated in a number of volunteer programs such as The Jesse Brown VA Hospital, a rebuilding effort in Canstenza, Dominican Republic and assistant teaching at Earle Elementary. Hannah also worked every summer during her time in high school and through her senior year at Safety Security Systems, Inc. Hannah has not determined where she will attend college this fall.


Hugo Sonnenschein III Charitable Fund Recipient


MaKiya Caldwell is a senior at Southland College Preparatory Charter High School where she will be graduating with a 3.38 GPA (4.0 scale). MaKiya received academic distinction as a Center for Educational Opportunity Scholar as well as being on the High Honor Roll and having perfect attendance during her four years at Southland. MaKiya was also very active in sports. She was a varsity cheerleader and the squad’s Co-Captain and MVP junior year and Captain senior year. All four years MaKiya played varsity tennis for the school and was Co-Captain of the team senior year. Also, in her senior year, she was a majorette. Outside of athletics MaKiya was on the student council and treasurer for the organization during her sophomore through senior years. Throughout her high school career, MaKiya was a childcare worker for the Victory Apostolic Church and held a job as a cashier and waitress for a year at Rich City Skate. On the volunteer front, she was an aide at Ingalis Memorial Hospital and Athletico Physical Therapy and served as a youth cheerleading coach. MaKiya also contributed hours at a Ronald McDonald House and with the Archonettes Youth Auxiliary. MaKiya plans to attend Ball State University.


Payline Data Recipient 


Charlotte Phillipp is a senior at St. Ignatius College Preparatory High School where she will be graduating with a 3.69 GPA (4.0 scale). In addition to good grades, she is a member of the National Honor Society and achieved Honors with Distinction, 1st Honors, and was awarded membership in the International Thespian Society. School activities include participating in the theater department both as an actor as well as serving as secretary. Charlotte also was a member of the school choir and Model United Nations. Contributing to her community, Charlotte worked as a volunteer for the Anti-Cruelty Society as well as three LaGrange-based organizations: the Park Village Board, a Day Care and BEDS which serves the homeless in that suburb. She also donated hours to the Darst Center, an organization that works for social change by exploring issues of peace and justice and inspiring a commitment to serve. Charlotte worked during her time in high school as a babysitter and as a receptionist at St. Francis Xavier Rectory. Charlotte has not determined where she will attend college this fall.


Kits for Kidz Recipient


Olivia Butts is a senior at Kenwood Academy High School where she will be graduating with a 3.29 GPA (4.0 scale). During her time at Kenwood, Olivia successfully completed the Black Girls Code, a STEM program for girls, and received honorable mention in the Ninth MCTA Chinese Speech contest. She also got her Certificate of Accomplishment for participation in the Wanxiang Group and Guangzhou Wanxiang Polytech for CPS, which is a six-week immersion experience focusing on clean energy initiatives and technology in China. Olivia received a Certificate of Completion at the Special Reporting and Commentary Academy at Columbia Links, which teaches journalism skills and leadership. Olivia plays the cello for the Apostolic Church of God Youth Orchestra and serves as the Assistant Director for the church’s Voice Academy. She also is secretary for the Kenwood Women’s Alliance and is a senior lead for KENTalks, a school organization that brings speakers to her school. Much of her time spent volunteering was as a leader for G.R.A.C.E. (Godley Young Women Reaching After Charm and Elegance) at the Apostle Church of God. Olivia has served as a mentor to teenage girls, visited nursing homes, cleaned up Jackson Park, and participated in food drives. Olivia has not determined where she will attend college this fall.


One of our goals is making sure that all schoolchildren have access to equal opportunities. To help ensure students have internet access we are working with Comcast to promote their Internet Essentials Program, which aims to give them greater access to academic resources and employment possibilities

If you're interested in sponsoring a college scholarship for 2019, contact us at info@b2si.org