Foundation supports summer education for Jackson County high school students | Local News


High-achieving area high school students head to summer enrichment programs across the country through sponsorships from the Garwin Family Foundation.

For the tenth year, the Foundation is funding merit-based scholarships to attend highly selective, subject-specific programs at universities nationwide, including the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Yale, and Stanford. For 2022, 11 students have been selected, including the very first group entrant from Murphysboro High School.

“We found that the program was running like a well-oiled machine and that we could consider expanding it to other high schools in the area and we are thrilled to have our first student from Murphysboro this year,” explained the director of the Garwin Family Foundation. Marsha Ryan.

“Learning at some of the best institutions, with some of the brightest students in the country, will provide our brightest students with an experience like no other.” Murphysboro High School Principal Cody Ellermeyer said in a news release. “We look forward to continuing the partnership in the future so that more of Murphysboro High School’s best and brightest students can take advantage of all that these enrichment programs have to offer.”

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Ryan said the program, which relies on high school counselors who liaise with students, will likely expand to Carterville High School in future years. Students at Carbondale Community High School and area students attending Illinois Math and Science Academy in Aurora are eligible for Garwin Family Foundation sponsorship.

Students must go through a rigorous application process to receive Garwin Foundation funding, including interviews, as well as to be accepted into a foundation-approved summer program. Once approved by the foundation and accepted into the program, tuition, room and board, and often transportation costs are covered by the foundation.

Sponsored students and their summer programs include:

  • Sydney Davis of Carbondale Community High School, Iowa Young Writer’s Institute, creative writing
  • Lauren Fakhoury from Illinois Math and Science Academy, City University of New York to study Latin
  • Katherine Herzog from Murphysboro High School, Michigan Math and Science Scholars to study catalysis, solar energy, and green chemical synthesis
  • Jordan Johnson of CCHS, Michigan Math and Science Scholars, Catalysis, Solar Energy, and Green Chemical Synthesis
  • Stanford University’s CCHS Yoonseo Jung to study the fundamentals of augmented reality
  • Jason Qin from IMSA, Yale University, Linear Algebra with Applications and at MIT Beaverworks to study quantum software
  • Michelle Wang from CCHS, Astrophysics Summer Science Program
  • Samuel Wang of CCHS, St. Louis students and teachers as research scientists to study cancer research and biology
  • David Weng from CCHS, Awesome Math to Study Algebra 1.5 and Elements of Geometry
  • Robert Wigfall from CCHS, University of Illinois at Chicago to study biotechnology
  • Elaina Xiao from IMSA, MIT Beaverworks to study assistive technology design

One of the selected students, Robert Wigfall, a sophomore at CCHS, said he was looking forward to exploring both a possible college major and career, but also exposure to an academic setting.

“I hope to get several things out of this program: the college experience, living in dorms and being in college in general. Also, I hope to experience what it is like to have a higher level of education. I can’t wait to be there,” he said.

The Garwin Family Foundation was established in 1993 to further study in the arts and sciences, humanities, law, and medicine.

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