By Amanda Petrucelli
INDIANAPOLIS, November, 2015 – An Ancilla College sophomore, Sandra Harlamert, won a $2,500 scholarship from the Independent Colleges of Indiana as part of their first-generation Realizing the Dream program.
“I knew nothing about it until I received the phone call and then I did a little happy dance,” Harlamert said. “It knocked my out-of-pocket in half, which is wonderful.”
Harlamert, who is from North Judson, studies nursing at Ancilla and was nominated by Marcella Hopple, director of financial aid. In appreciation, Harlamert nominated Kristin Korcha, Ancilla’s associate professor of science and chair of the division of Science, Mathematics and Information Technology as mentor who helped her in her educational path.
“Sandy’s remarkable critical thinking and scientific application skills really are quite remarkable here at Ancilla College. It is so wonderful that she receives this ICI honor,” Korcha said.
ICI created the scholarship program to acknowledge that realizing a dream takes commitment, hard work, and, most often, a helping hand from family and others. Thirty-one students from Indiana’s independent colleges and universities are to be celebrated for this Saturday, Nov. 7, at the 26th annual “Realizing the Dream” banquet.
Harlamert said, “My parents knew that I needed to graduate high school but I knew that I needed more than high school to get a job.” Harlamert was a pharmacy technician with an associate degree for more than 15 years and had hit the top. She decided it was time to upgrade her career path and chose Ancilla to provide her with a nursing degree.
Korcha receives $1,000 professional development grant as a result of the nomination, as well.
Ancilla Vice President for Enrollment Eric Wignall said, “We are proud of Sandra and happy to be a part of this organization that makes dreams possible for first-generation students. It has always been a part of the Ancilla College mission to reach out to hard-working students like Sandra and give them an edge in higher education with generous financial aid packages. ICI helps bridge the gap with this award.”
Made possible by a grant from Lilly Endowment, Inc., to the Independent Colleges of Indiana, the event recognizes first-generation students attending ICI campuses, along with their inspirational teachers and families. The event is being held at the Sheraton Indianapolis at Keystone Crossing, with a reception at 6 p.m. and an awards dinner at 7 p.m.
Each honored student will receive a $2,500 check to help with college costs, and each student’s selected “most influential” teacher/mentor will receive a $1,000 professional development grant. One out of every three students on ICI campuses is first-generation. Generous financial aid provided by the campuses themselves, combined with state and federal grants, makes a private college education a possibility for all students in Indiana.
This year’s keynote speaker is Benjamin Tapper, a Manchester University alumnus and former first-generation student himself. A political science major, after graduation he served a term with the Indianapolis Mayor’s Office of Education Innovation as an AmeriCorps VISTA Fellow. He’s worked in community outreach since 2012 and currently serves as the Career Developer for Southeast Community Services in Indianapolis.
“We are so grateful to Lilly Endowment Inc. for making this inspirational program possible,” says Richard L. Ludwick, ICI president & CEO. “We are proud, too, that because of the higher graduation rates of our ICI colleges and universities, these students are twice as likely to realize the dream of completing their degrees in four years.”
Independent Colleges of Indiana serves as the collective voice for the state’s 31 private, nonprofit colleges and universities. ICI member institutions enroll almost 100,000 students (approximately 17 percent of all students statewide) and annually produce 32 percent of all bachelor’s degrees in Indiana. Information about ICI is available at www.icindiana.org.
Ancilla College (www.ancilla.edu), part of The Center at Donaldson, offers 21 associate degrees, eight one-year certificates and has 20 athletic teams. Since 1937, the college has been a sponsored ministry of the Poor Handmaids of Jesus Christ. It is a small, private, liberal arts school located two miles south of U.S. 30 on Union Road near Plymouth, Indiana.