Back in 2008, when Adam Welty applied for a scholarship through Galesburg Community Foundation to help offset the cost of his dental education at Southern Illinois University in Alton, he knew exactly where he wanted to end up. “I plan to come back to Galesburg and practice dentistry and hopefully help the community out any way I can,” he said at the time.
Looking back 14 years later, Dr. Welty has gained a broad perspective on how the scholarship he received helped him do just that. With it, he was able to graduate from dental school with a lighter burden of loans, allowing him to focus on the transition into practice. But the support of the scholarship gave him something perhaps even more important. “When you know that you are being invested in by the community, it is empowering and enriching,” said Dr. Welty, who now practices in Galesburg and joined the Community Foundation’s board of directors in 2021.
Today, students in Knox and Warren Counties and the surrounding area have the same opportunity to pursue their goals with their community behind them. From now until Tuesday, March 1, at 4 p.m., the Community Foundation is accepting applications for seven different scholarships, all made possible by the gifts of generous community members. Applications can be completed online at www.YourGCF.com/Scholarships.
Each scholarship has its own selection criteria. The Becky Carlson Scholarship, for example, is awarded to United High School seniors who have participated in the school district’s special education program, while the Lyle Pierce Athletic and Leadership Scholarship goes to Warren County high school student-athletes who are planning to major in education.
“We’ve made it easy to apply online to the scholarships you’re eligible for, so we encourage all students to see what’s available,” said Tiffany Springer, director of grants and programs for the Community Foundation. “Just like the donors who made gifts to establish these scholarships, we know that when our students succeed, so do our communities.”
As a board member, Dr. Welty brings his journey full circle, helping to review the scholarship committee’s recommendations for awards this year. “I care deeply about this community,” he said, “and I want folks to know that the community cares so much about those who live here, too.”
Learn more about our scholarships and apply here.