May 2, 2014
GALESBURG—Sixteen Galesburg District 205 eighth-graders were inducted into the George Washington Gale Scholars Class of 2018 during a ceremony Friday afternoon in the Student Center on Carl Sandburg College’s Main Campus in Galesburg. The ceremony was the initial step for the students in a path toward a tuition-free education through Carl Sandburg College and Knox College.
This year’s Gale Scholars inductees are: Syneca Baker, Ezekial Biamungu, Selena Black, Abigail Breslin, Makailee Brown, Lauryn Campbell, Tatiana Campbell, Kailyn Cutliff, TaCoya Harris, Kendra Hossain, Nathan Laake, Alissa Llave, Alexia Rodriguez, Kaylyn Spencer, Blaise Strong and Taishae Wallace.
Named after the founder of Galesburg and Knox, the program is a collaborative effort between Sandburg, Knox and District 205. The Gale Scholars program was created to encourage and support higher education aspirations and success in the target population of academically promising, first-generation and income-eligible youth within District 205. The program was established in 1996 and has been designated a “Best Practice” by the Illinois Board of Higher Education and the Illinois Association of School Boards.
Each year, students are selected for the program, and they participate in summer enrichment and academic preparation, community service and special skill-building experiences. Students who complete the program in high school receive tuition-waiver scholarships toward the completion of associate and bachelor's degree programs at Sandburg and Knox, respectively. Highly academically successful students at Galesburg High School may qualify for direct enrollment to Knox.
Students selected to participate in the Gale Scholars program must have a financial need based upon federal guidelines, be a first-generation college student, demonstrate a commitment to school through a 90 percent attendance rate and have a cumulative grade point average of at least 2.5. Qualifying students must complete the Gale Scholars application and provide two written recommendations from supportive adults. A selection committee screens applications and finalists are interviewed.
Gale Scholars participants must complete 20 hours of community service each year, be involved in at least two school activities per year, attend summer programs and workshops for academic and leadership enrichment and maintain at least a 2.5 GPA.