The George Washington Gale Scholars Program recently inducted its newest class of students in a formal ceremony.
The Gale Scholars Program offers personalized guidance and mentoring during high school and college, and free college tuition scholarships to Carl Sandburg College and Knox College for academically promising and income-eligible youth within Galesburg District 205 who would be the first in their families to attend college.
"The Gale Scholars Program is an extraordinary initiative where the local school district and the two colleges have joined forces to provide support through high school and college, along with free-tuition scholarships to Carl Sandburg College and Knox College," said Steve Cheesman, Gale Scholars program director.
Dr. John Asplund, Galesburg School Superintendent, was the featured speaker for the ceremony. The 11 inductees, families, and guests also heard from Gale Scholars currently attending Galesburg High School, Carl Sandburg College, and Knox College.
"Every time I've worked with this year's inductees, I've been impressed by their achievements, as well as their aspirations," Cheesman said. "They're close to straight-A students, and they're aiming for careers in medicine, science, research, and education. Gale Scholars have already made, and will continue to make, a difference in our community and the world. The Gale Scholars Program is an incomparable gift, to them and to our community."
The program is named after the Rev. George Washington Gale, the founder of Galesburg and Knox College. It has been recognized by the Illinois Board of Higher Education as an exemplary "best practice," designed to address the growing number of youth who, because of socio-economic barriers, often don't have opportunities to realize their full potential as scholars and future leaders.
Since 2006, 42 students have completed the program and graduated with a bachelor's degree from Knox.