Scholarship Opportunities

Scholarships funds are created by individuals or organizations to help students pursue academic goals. While the donor cannot select the recipient, they may define guidelines for candidacy, the advisory committee, the school and the award itself.

Listed below are scholarship funds the Community Foundation currently manages. If you would like to make a donation to a fund, click on the scholarship name to visit their donation page.

The scholarship application will be available from February 1-March 15 each year.

Drew Adams Memorial Scholarship

This scholarship was created by his friends and family to preserve and honor the life and legacy of Drew Adams. Drew was an exceptional student, athlete, friend, and community member who unexpectedly passed away in 2020 shortly after graduation. Drew epitomized hard work, loyalty and compassion. Whether it was sports, academics, or other activities, Drew always had a smile on his face. This scholarship is intended to reward a student who displays similar characteristics to Drew.

Keegan Bannon Memorial Scholarship

This scholarship is dedicated to the memory of Keegan Bannon, an extraordinary Central High School student who passed away unexpectedly in 2010. Keegan’s love of academics, sports and music along with his determination to excel with dedication to a variety of friendships are central to this award. This scholarship was created to reward a graduating Central High School senior who through determination, positive attitude and hard work has exceeded expectations in academics and extra-curricular activities such as music, sports, student government, or other school activities.

Dana Buerkett Memorial Scholarship

The Dana Buerkett Memorial Scholarship was created by the Friends of Dana Buerkett and dedicated to her memory. For female graduates of Champaign Central and Centennial High Schools pursuing an undergraduate education and/or a program leading to Certification who have committed themselves to their community and have financial need.

Rodney & TJ Butler Memorial Scholarship

The Rodney and TJ Butler Memorial Scholarship was established in loving memory of Rodney Butler, Central Class of 2001 and TJ Butler, Central Class of 2011. Rodney and TJ’s family and friends want to honor both men’s passion for their community by helping send an aspiring Central,  Centennial, or Urbana High School student to Parkland College.

Champaign Centennial High School Alumni Scholarship

The Champaign Centennial High School Alumni Scholarship honors graduating senior(s) who participated in activities embodying Charger spirit and pride. Students will have demonstrated leadership and community service through their time at Centennial.

Champaign Central High School Alumni Scholarship

The Champaign Central High School Alumni Scholarship is awarded to senior students who participated fully in the leadership and community service opportunities that Central High School has to offer and exhibit school spirit and pride in being a Maroon.

Greg Chew Scholarship

The Greg Chew Scholarship was established in honor of longtime Urbana High School Drama Director and teacher Greg Chew. This award recognizes a student who demonstrates passion for the fine arts through participation in UHS performances, extended service and dedication to clubs or groups in the fine arts. The student given this award will receive a scholarship to pursue a major in an art related field after graduation.

Clif Rocks! Scholarship

Clif Aldridge graduated from Centennial High School in 2004. During his senior year at Illinois State University he became ill and passed away in 2010. His family and friends established the Clif Rocks! Scholarship to honor his involvement and love of the arts and the community. This scholarship is awarded to students of Centennial High School with strong grade point averages, character leadership, intellectual curiosity and independence. Previous participation in the arts is given special consideration.

Constellation Clinton Clean Energy STEM Scholarship

Constellation is the nation’s largest producer of clean, carbon-free energy and a leading supplier of energy products and services to millions of homes, institutional customers, the public sector, community aggregations and businesses. This scholarship provides students in underserved areas of our community with scholarship assistance. Additionally, opportunities for internships, and early career readiness support to help prepare them for rewarding careers within the energy industry are available to the recipient.

Andrew D. Cotner Scholarship

This scholarship was established in memory of Andrew D. Cotner and is awarded to members of the senior class of Champaign Centennial High School. Scholarships from the fund are to be used for financial assistance for attendance at a college, university or trade school. Students who have participated in athletics and/or have had a family or medical hardship will be given priority.

Charlie Due Baseball Scholarship

For graduates of Champaign Central High School who have played baseball for Champaign Central High School and who have committed themselves to the pursuance of outstanding citizenship, human relations, and a competitive desire as exemplified by Charlie Due. (Selection coordinated through CCHS)

The Frank Dutton Blue Dot Society Scholarship

Created in honor of Coach Dutton to support blue dot football members attend college or trade school.

Kenneth Freeland Memorial Scholarship

Ken Freeland was a high school teacher, coach and administrator for 32 years. He loved teaching and was devoted to his students and believed in continuing education and encouraged many of his students to attend college. He was especially proud when one of his students chose teaching as a profession. Recipients must be members of the senior class of Unity High School in Tolono, IL. Scholarships from the fund are to be used for financial assistance for attendance at a college, university or other post-secondary educational institution.

Judge Fred Green Memorial Scholarship

Judge Fred Green was a lifelong resident of Urbana and graduated from Urbana High School in 1941 where he was a standout basketball player. After serving in the Army in the South Pacific during World War II, Fred continued his basketball career at the University of Illinois where he was a member of the Illinois 1949 Final Four basketball team. After graduating from the U of I Law School, Judge Green served with distinction in the Illinois Judiciary for 42 years. A scholarship will be awarded each spring to a graduating UHS senior who demonstrates leadership qualities in both their academic and athletic endeavors and plans to attend college.

Ida Haack Memorial Scholarship

The Ida Haack Memorial Scholarship was established by Mr. Otto Haack in honor of his mother. Mr. Haack was a German immigrant who came to the U.S. at the age of seven. This scholarship is for graduates of Mahomet-Seymour who have demonstrated academic excellence during their high school careers and who are in need of financial assistance.

Michael Hartter Scholarship

This scholarship was established in honor of Central High School Class of 1995 graduate Michael Hartter. When Michael was a student at Central he enjoyed participating in a wide range of activities including baseball and football as well as show choir and madrigals, earning letters in both academics and sports. This scholarship is given to a graduating senior who has maintained a grade point average of “B” or better; participated in 2 – 3 years of extra-curricular activities; held leadership roles or served on organizing committees; demonstrates a good temperament and plans to attend a 2 or 4-year college.

Holter Fellowship Award

We called him Boogs in high school, our endearing nickname for Dr. Arlen Holter, one of the most distinguished graduates Champaign High School has ever produced. The Holter Fellowship Award has been established by a handful of Arlen’s lifelong friends, to honor his memory and to celebrate the enduring bond of friendship that was at the core of Arlen’s life. He was everybody’s wing man – the one you turned to when it was time to lend a hand, pitch a tent, shoot some hoops, or tee it up in the rain. Whatever the circumstances, he conducted himself with grace and charm and effortless good humor. He radiated good will. His eyes sparkled; his hearty laugh exploded. His friendship was a gift we enjoyed for decades. In this annual award we remind ourselves of the timeless value of friendship. And with it we commemorate a beautiful life that touched ours early, and late, and even now, moves us, as we remember the Arlen we all loved. We offer this award in fellowship with each other, in the memory of our dear friend, with the hope that his legacy will touch and inspire other lives as it has our own. This award is for Central High School seniors only.

Songa Mbele Scholarship

This scholarship was created to support the continuing education of participants of Unit 4’s Goal Getters program.

Kathy Murphy Scholarship

This scholarship was established by friends in honor of Kathy Murphy for area students who have participated in theater in their schools and communities. Students will not be required to study theater in college or graduate school to be considered.

Lucien and Christine Nesbitt Scholarship

This scholarship was established in 1978 by Mr. and Mrs. Nesbitt’s five sons to memorialize their parents’ work and commitment to education. Their commitment had already been illustrated through their sons, all of whom had attended college and became professionals, eventually living and working throughout the United States. For Central or Centennial High School graduates who have committed themselves to the pursuance of outstanding citizenship in the area of human relations and scholarship of African-American students.

North End Scholarship

The North End, for many years, has been considered the heart of the African American community in Champaign-Urbana. African American owned businesses and churches are predominantly located in the North End, and it is still the residential, cultural and business center for many African Americans living in Champaign-Urbana. This scholarship provides opportunities for minority students with connections to the North End to pursue higher education and to further their life goals and aspirations. Qualifying students must be a graduating minority student from Unit 4 or District 116, show academic promise as evidenced by their grade point average and plan to attend a public college or university. The scholarship is awarded to one graduating minority senior from each of our three public high schools who demonstrate financial need and academic promise.

Project Hope Scholarship

The Project Hope Scholarship was established to support students in marginalized communities in Coles County obtain a post-secondary education. For graduates of High Schools in Coles County who intend to study in the STEM field and have participated in some type of extra-curricular activity.

John C. Sanders Scholarship

The John C. Sanders Scholarship was founded in 1986 to support students seeking higher learning and for those who want to pursue what John C. Sanders loved the most – knowledge. The scholarship will be awarded to a Danville High School graduating senior who has pursued a well-rounded curriculum without undue emphasis in a particular field of study. Preference will be given to applicants who have demonstrated academic achievement, participation in extra-curricular activities and a willingness and desire to continue direct or indirect community service in Danville after graduation.

Mariel and James Sholem Scholarship

The Mariel and James Sholem Scholarship was established to give back to Champaign Central High School students who have served their school and community through work, volunteer service, and exceeded expectations in academics at their high school. One student will be awarded a scholarship to attend UIUC.

James Sisk Scholarship

This scholarship was established in his honor by his daughter. For Central or Centennial High School graduates  who have committed themselves to furthering their general education or specific training in any area.

Pearl Sisk Scholarship

Mrs. Sisk was a teacher of hearing impaired students in Unit 4. The scholarship was created by her daughter to honor her and to provide a scholarship for Central or Centennial High School hearing-impaired graduates who have committed themselves to furthering their general education or specific training in any area.

Tennant Family Scholarship

The Tennant Family Scholarship was established by longtime Champaign resident and Central High School graduate Mike Tennant and his three sons Ryne, Graham, and Jace who all graduated from Central High School. This $10,000 scholarship will be awarded to one graduating senior at Central High School who plans to attend a 2 or 4 year college or university and study business, with the hope that one day they can give back to the Champaign-Urbana community. You may be contacted by the family for an interview.

Ben Watts Memorial Scholarship

This scholarship was established by friends, family and classmates of Ben Watts to honor his memory. Ben Watts, a 1980 Central HS grad, played football for the legendary Tommy Stewart and was a co-valedictorian of his class. He was the father of Olivia Watts, CHS Class of 2017, and Samuel Watts, CHS Class of 2019. Two awards will be given to a Central HS graduating senior boy and girl who are planning to attend a college or university.