Gale Scholars Program is Ticket to Opportunity

Award-winning mentoring and scholarship initiative by colleges and school district

May 15, 2009

Selection as a Gale Scholar is "a ticket to opportunity," said Les Hunter, director of the George Washington Gale Scholars Program, in his remarks to the 15 new Gale Scholars and their families at the induction ceremony on May 13. "It will not make you smarter or better than anyone else -- it will give you choices," Hunter said.

Named after the founder of Galesburg and Knox College, the program provides academic support, mentoring and community service opportunities to selected students who will enter Galesburg High School in the fall. Students participate in summer enrichment and academic preparation, community service, and special skill-building experiences.

Students who complete the program in high school will receive tuition-waiver scholarships to Carl Sandburg College and Knox College.

This year's inductees are: Andrew Bartlett, Dashay Burnett, Mackenzie Cauthon, Halie Curtis, Shakisha Grays, Lindsay Hathaway, Dillon Hovind, Morganne Malesker, Marissa Miller, Jessie Perez, Jacob Ryden, Troy Schisler, Ashley Schmidt, Amaunie Stapleton, and Saige Washington.

"Life will throw you challenges," said Leah Glaser, vice president of Young Professionals of Galesburg of the Galesburg Area Chamber of Commerce, one of the featured speakers at the event. Education may not answer every question, but it "teaches you how to look for answers -- and normally there's more than one," Glaser said.

Currently there are seven Gale Scholars at Knox College, four of whom will graduate in June. Six Gale Scholars graduated from Carl Sandburg College this spring and will enter Knox College in the fall.

Four Gale Scholars spoke at the ceremony -- Knox College seniors Garry Barton, Jr., and Christopher Carpenter; Carl Sandburg College student Krista Niehoff; and Galesburg High School student Jessica Dailey.

The ceremony was held in the historic Gale House, built by George Washington Gale in the 1840s.

The Gale Scholars program was created in 1996 by Galesburg School District 205, Carl Sandburg College and Knox College to enhance academic preparation and encourage the academic aspirations of talented young people from economically challenged backgrounds. The program has been designated a "Best Practice" by the Illinois Board of Higher Education and by the Illinois Association of School Boards.

Founded in 1837, Knox is a national liberal arts college in Galesburg, Illinois, with students from 47 states and 48 countries. Knox's 'Old Main' is a National Historic Landmark and the only building remaining from the 1858 Lincoln-Douglas debates.

Gale Scholars Induction 2009

Knox College President Roger Taylor shakes hands with Saige Washington. Carl Sandburg College President Tom Schmidt reads the names of the new Gale Scholars, while Taylor and Galesburg School Superintendent Gene Denisar greet the inductees and present them with certificates.

Gale Scholars Induction 2009
"Grab opportunities, work hard and you'll be successful," said Knox College student and Gale Scholar Garry Barton, in remarks to the newest class of Gale Scholars at the induction ceremony.