We had a delightful evening at St. Ignatius College Prep on Tuesday, May 8th 2018 as we welcomed our latest class of HEAR Scholars into the family. This year’s class is our biggest yet with 25 new scholarships awarded. Recipients attend high schools from all over the Chicagoland area, including: Chicago HS for Agricultural Studies, Chicago Math & Science Academy,¬†Evanston Township, Glenbrook South, Guerin College Prep., Kenwood, Lane Tech, Latin School, Loyola Academy, Morgan Park, Neuqua Valley, Northside College Prep., Resurrection College Prep., St. Ignatius College Prep., Taft, Trinity and Walter Payton.

These exemplary students will be studying at some of the most prestigious universities throughout the United States including: Ball State, Occidental College (S. California), Elon, Indiana University, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, Loyola, Marquette, Missouri, Northeastern University of Boston,  Northwestern, Notre Dame, Pennsylvania, St. Olaf University, Vanderbilt, Wesleyan, University of Wisconsin-Madison and Xavier University. We are also delighted that we have our first international student, who will be studying Business Commerce at University College Dublin, Ireland.

STEM subjects remain popular amongst our incoming class of scholars; almost 50% of them have chosen this field of study for their major. Other choices include secondary education, business, economics, political science, sociology, industrial & labor relations, behavioral neuroscience, international relations and accounting & finance related majors.

We look forward to watching these young scholars embark on their exciting journey of higher education, knowing that the HEAR Foundation is here to support them at every step of the way.

Our keynote speaker this year was Dr. Toinette McClellan Gunn, VP of Programs at Chicago Scholars. Her address to our scholars (past, present and future) was extremely well received, resonating with many people in our audience as she described the challenges she faced as a first-generation college goer in her family. Dr. Gunn’s determination and commitment to succeed in college and beyond was an inspiration to many of our scholars.


Many of our HEAR Family, supporters and friends attended the ceremony, joining with us to celebrate the opportunity these young adults have been given. We also congratulated our graduating HEAR Class of 2018 as they successfully complete their college careers and start the next phase of their life’s journey. HEAR President, Chris Eigel welcomed everyone and introduced our keynote speaker, Dr. Toinette McClellan Gunn. Dr. Ray Pollina (HEAR Scholarship co-chair) and Vera Pollina (Executive Director) officially welcomed the new class of scholars into the family. Finally, Sam Van Loon (Northwestern, Class of 2019 scholar) ended the ceremony with some sage advice from his open letter to our incoming classes. We were delighted to see many of our existing and graduated scholars also attend the celebration. The evening also provided an excellent opportunity for introductions between scholars who will be attending the same school, and for our supporters to re-connect with each other and the scholars that they have helped. We are grateful to everyone who attended and who support our program.



Mr. Dave McCreery & Dr. Ray Pollina, our scholarship co-chairs, welcomed our new HEAR Class of scholars into the family…