College Scholarship

“Beyond Girls on the Run”
The Founder’s College Scholarship Fund

Looking for the Girls on the Run Program Scholarship? Click here!

What is the Founder’s College Scholarship Fund?

Deb Shultz, the founder of Girls on the Run of Central Illinois, and her family established the Founder’s Scholarship Fund in October of 2013. The purpose of this scholarship fund is to financially assist Girls on the Run of Illinois program alumnae with college or vocational training expenses. The scholarship award is $1,500. The fund is managed by the Community Foundation for the Land of Lincoln.
Click here for more information on the scholarship qualifications and application process.

2018 Founder’s Scholarship recipient announced

2018 Recipient: Madeline Fellhauer
GOTR Program: 2011, Our Saviour School, Jacksonville


How has Girls on the Run’s Vision of embracing joy, health and confidence impacted your life after GOTR?

Madeline’s scholarship essay:

I am confident because I admit who I am, what I’ve done, and love myself for who I’ve become” –Unknown. This quote perfectly captures my outlook on life as I am preparing to take the next major step in my life. I know I have made mistakes, that there have been times where I have fallen and struggled to get back up. Yet, from every fall I have risen. I realize that, with the help of those around me and the nurturing community I have been immersed in, I have grown into the young woman I am today.

I was a member of Girls on the Run at my small grade school. At this age, I did not have much confidence at all. I was tall, lanky, super skinny as a child, and I never felt “pretty”. When I first heard about the program I thought it sounded like a fun activity to do with my friends. Little did I know that it would end up impacting me so deeply. Not only did I grow stronger physically through Girls on the Run, but I also grew in knowledge, personality, and confidence.

The program was a beginning for me. Through it I began to blossom into a girl who knew who she was, and was not afraid to be that person no matter where she went. Somewhat ironically however, I was also humbled. Not in the way that I stopped loving myself, but in a way in which I realized how beautifully different everyone was. I began to see the glory in how we as people are able to come from every walk of life and join together in something so simple. I was amazed by, and still today admire, how we all can relate to each other no matter our faults, our mistakes, our predestinations, our differences.

I have been molded into a better person- one that is not afraid to go after what she wants. I have always dreamed of going into the medical profession. People have warned me how hard it will be, how long it will take, and how expensive it may be to pay off medical school. But, because of the resilience I have developed over the years, I am not frightened. I am actually extremely excited to start the process next fall as I plan on majoring in Bio-Chemistry with a Pre-Med focus.

Girls on the Run is a wonderful program and I am glad to hear that it is only growing and prospering. It warms my heart to know that there are so many kids out there who will receive the same opportunity as me to be transformed into the person they were meant to be. I want to inspire others through my future work and help spread the lessons that taught me so much. I only hope to impact some little girl somewhere and I pray the confidence that she finds will forever alter her world just as it did mine.

About the Girls on the Run of Central Illinois Founder

Deb3-150x150Girls on the Run of Central Illinois, a 501(c)3 organization, was established in January 2010, but its foundation began in 2004 when the first Girls on the Run season was hosted in Springfield. With the help of a friend, Deb Shultz started the local council as an affiliate with the Boys and Girls Clubs of Springfield and hosted one site of 13 high-energy girls. Deb volunteered as its Executive Director from 2004-2010, running two program seasons a year and expanding the program to 21 sites. As Board Chair from 2011-2013, Deb assisted the organization in growing the number of girls served from 250 a year to 1,100+ each year and expanding services to eight additional counties. Deb’s hard work, focus, and energy over 10 years created the foundation for Girls on the Run of Central Illinois to thrive and touch many lives for years to come.

Click here for more information on how to support the Founder’s Scholarship Fund.