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.

2017 Founder’s Scholarship recipient announced

2017 Recipient: Hailee Whiting
GOTR Program: 2011, Glenwood Middle School, Chatham

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

Hailee’s scholarship essay:

My name is Hailee Whiting. The confident young woman I am today would not recognize the little 6th grade girl who wanted to try Girls on the Run (GOTR). I was a girl trying to figure out who she would become. I participated in GOTR at a crucial point in my development.

Days spent running and learning after school were days that I would look forward too. I enjoyed being with my coaches and my friends who were also trying to learn about themselves. Together we learned how to keep ourselves healthy physically and emotionally. As a team we learned how we were able to strengthen ourselves, support each other, and reach present as well as future goals.

It is amazing to see how GOTR is still affecting me today. As a cashier, I always have customers comment how happy I seem to them. After receiving a few of these comments I started to ask myself why that is. It’s because I choose to feel joy; I certainly could chose to be unhappy, but I choose joy.

My high school graduation date, 12/22/2016, is not the usual graduation date for most seniors. That is because I earned the required amount of credits at a faster rate than most of my classmates. So instead of being a senior in high school, I am a freshman in college. I wanted to graduate a semester early because I wanted an early start on my associate’s degree. A few of my classmate did not understand why I would want to graduate early. “But you’ll miss your senior prom” or “Won’t you miss your friends” they would say as they tried to persuade me to stay. I knew what I wanted, I was happy and confident in my decision, and I am even more so now.

A lot of my friends did not participate in the GOTR program in middle school. They did not receive the positive messages that affected my development. I can see a difference in myself empowerment and I embrace it.

Reaching my potential is not a question of if or when but rather knowing it’s without limits. I want to be an elementary teacher and I will become one. My education is in my hands, it is my responsibility. GOTR taught me that I decide if I am successful and I am choosing success. I know that I must study and be an attentive student if I want to receive an effective education. I know that I have the opportunity to turn in my best work every due date. My education now matters because my success means success for my future students.

Words that describe me include determined, powerful, compassionate, leader, accepting, and decided. These words ring true for who I am because of my involvement in the GOTR program.


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 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.