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Thursday, June 21, 2012 06:55 pm

Scholarships mean more than money

Community Foundation and Frontiers International reward college-bound leaders


Jim Boykin (left), president of the Frontiers International Springfield Club, and Lance Boozer, recipient of the Frontiers International 1K Scholarship.

The Community Foundation for the Land of Lincoln is giving 40 college-bound students in central Illinois a boost with more than $42,000 total in scholarships.

The Community Foundation for the Land of Lincoln and the Frontiers International Springfield Club teamed up to give each student an award of between $500 and $5,000. The Frontiers International Club gave out a total of 11 scholarships, one scholarship from the Frontiers International 1K Scholarship fund and 10 scholarships from the Frontiers International Springfield Club Scholarship fund.

Between the two groups, they have awarded $355,000 in scholarships since 2004.

The Community Foundation for the Land of Lincoln, formerly the Sangamon County Community Foundation, is a nonprofit organization that provides scholarships and donations to students and local businesses through the foundation’s donors. The foundation started giving scholarships eight years ago, and has awarded $310,000 to college-bound students in that time.

In 1924, three Springfield banks pooled their resources to create the Sangamon County Foundation with the goal of supporting local charities. Members of several prominent Springfield families, including the Bunn, Pasfield and Lanphier families, originally oversaw the foundation.

Community foundations are nonprofit charities serving people with a common interest. The Community Foundation for the Land of Lincoln is accredited by the Council on Foundations, a nonprofit governing body overseeing similar groups across the U.S.

Since its inception, the CFLL has expanded its scope to include several counties surrounding Sangamon County and has grown to administer 100 funds with nearly $10 million in total assets.

During a June 13 ceremony in Springfield, Jim Boykin, president of the Frontiers International Springfield Club, presented his organization’s two types of scholarship funds – the Frontiers International 1K Scholarship, with a $1,000 award, and the Frontiers International Springfield Club Scholarship, with a $500 award. Since 2005, they’ve given away $45,000 to 85 graduating students in Sangamon County. A maximum of 20 scholarships are guaranteed each year from the Springfield Club. The Frontiers International Springfield Club gave out a total of 11 scholarships at the ceremony.

The Frontier 1K Scholarship is for African-American males who join the club’s Positive Youth Development program for grades 6 through 8, transition to the Junior Frontiers program for grades 9 through 12, and then plan to attend college. The youth development program and Junior Frontiers program are designed to encourage and improve skills such as decision-making, self-esteem and leadership abilities, while also promoting academic achievement.

Boykin said the Frontiers International 1K scholarship is inspired by the Can Do 4:13 Scholarship Fund, which provided $1,000 to students in Peoria. Boykin said for the 1K scholarship to begin, it required 15 members of the Frontiers International Springfield Club to pledge $150 a year for 10 years.

The Springfield Club began its first scholarship fund through the Sangamon County Community Foundation in 2004, but then created the annual Frontiers International 1K Scholarship fund in 2005.

Boykin said his primary motivation for donating funds to CFLL and helping establish the 1K scholarship is because he understands the value of receiving a scholarship.

“I have always tried to live my life by helping others because I went to school on a scholarship and my twin brother also went to school on a scholarship,” Boykin said. “There would have been no way that we could have gone to college without scholarships.”

Lance Boozer, a graduate of Lanphier High School and the recipient of the 2012 Frontiers International 1K Scholarship, said the award will help with finances for his college career, but it also means something more to him.

“This award lets me know that I am doing the right things, like providing leadership to those around me, helping others and serving in the community,” Boozer said.

Boozer plans to attend Southwest Minnesota State University this fall, majoring in speech communications, while also playing football.

Students from area high schools such as Sacred Heart-Griffin, Pleasant Plains, Lanphier, Rochester and Williamsville received scholarships during the ceremony.

Contact Neil Schneider at nschneider@illinoistimes.com

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