Cleveland Illini Club Scholarship Program

In most years, the Cleveland Illini Club awards a $1,000 scholarship to a student from Northeast Ohio that has chosen to attend the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. The scholarship is for an entering freshman and is not renewable.  Funds will be applied directly to the recipient’s student account to cover tuition and fees.

To donate to The Cleveland Illini Scholarship:

To donate online through the University of Illinois Foundation click here. You will be redirected to the Foundation’s giving page. All donations that are made online are tax-deductible and eligible for University gift credit. If you prefer to write a check, make the check payable to UIF in order to receive the tax benefits and University gift credit.  Checks can be mailed directly to UIAA or to our club.

Past Scholarship Winners

2018 Isaac Warren

Isaac Warren is from Madison Ohio. He is a freshman studying Computer Science and belongs to two clubs on campus, SigPwny and Student Space Systems. SigPwny is a cybersecurity club with a focus on practical challenges to learn skills. Student Space Systems launches student designed and manufactured suborbital rockets. He hopes to work as a security researcher in the industry.

2016 Jacob Kraft
This year’s winner is Jacob Kraft. We had four applicants with superior credentials, but the committee members chose Jacob. A review of his accomplishments will help you understand why we chose Jacob. We believe Jacob has the credentials to meet with great success at our beloved alma mater.

Jacob graduated from Westlake High School, ranking 16th in his class of 400. His GPA of 4.069 was impressive given that he was enrolled in many Advanced Placement classes. Additionally, Jacob scored very high on the ACT and SAT pre-entrance tests.

Jacob was class president all four years of high school; was inducted into the National Honor Society during his Sophomore year; ran with the Varsity Cross-Country team 4 years (being the captain for his Jr. and Sr. years); wrestled for two years; and was a National French Exam Placer and a member of the National French Honors Society Member for his last three years of High School. Jacob received the Kiwanis Salute to Excellence Award in 2014.

Jacob has invested in many volunteer opportunities including Key Club, Leadership Challenge, Student Council, Great Lakes Science Center Volunteer, St. Ignatius of Antioch Soup Kitchen and Cleveland Food Bank. His interests include piano, chorus, Drama Club, French Club and numerous other groups.

Jacob has held jobs as a Bob Evans host during 2015-2016 and with Neubert Painting 2016, although I can’t imagine when he would have worked this into his schedule.

Jacob will be majoring in Aerospace Engineering.  He has participated in several Air Camp activities at the University of Dayton and Erie-Ottawa Junior Flight Camp.  His long-range goals include working for NASA or Boeing.  He has aspirations to contribute to the well-being of the world and is eager to take on the challenge of the transition to college life, which he believes may include study abroad, research and internships. 

Jacob’s Cross Country coach reported that Jacob is a self-motivated, goal-oriented student. He described him as respectful and very congenial with outstanding leadership qualities. He expressed no concerns about Jacob’s ability to be very successful at Illinois. His exact description was “he’s a top notch” young man, one of only a few who would warrant his full endorsement.

2015 Lucas Hobart
We had six applicants with superior credentials, but the committee members unanimously chose Lucas.  We met with him, his parents and two younger brothers for brunch on August 16th.  It was a pleasure to meet with this very talented young man.  A review of his accomplishments will lead you to the same conclusion as the committee came to – Lucas will meet with great success at our beloved alma mater.

Lucas attended Cuyahoga Valley Christian Academy in Cuyahoga Falls, OH.  His academic achievement was commendable as was his performance on the pre-college tests.  He finished in the top 25 of his class while taking challenging advanced placement classes.

Lucas was a Cub Scout, Boy Scout, and Star Scout, earning several merit badges in Lifesaving, Swimming, and Climbing.   He played goalie for 3 years on his school’s JV soccer team and swam all 4 years in high school, serving as team captain during his senior year.

Lucas has participated in many community service activities, such as helping in the local soup kitchen and embarking on a mission to North Carolina to help dig trenches for a family’s septic system.  He invested many hours through Urban Vision to assist with their Kids Club and traveled to the Pittsburgh Project to help inner-city families by repairing roofs and organizing yard clean-up.  During the summer prior to his senior year, Lucas traveled to the Dominican Republic where his team built housing in the local villages. 

Lucas delayed starting at Illinois until earlier this summer when he enrolled in the Summer Scholars Program. During the last year, he increased his savings and gained work experience while employed as a lifeguard at the University Park YMCA in downtown Akron.  The manager observed his initiative and leadership skills and collaborated with Lucas to develop a swim team for urban youth who have limited opportunities to participate on a swim team. He served as the assistant coach engaging youth in team competition while gaining experience dealing with youth, colleagues, and parents. His manager described Lucas as one who showed remarkable skills with respect to working as a team leader and member; one who followed directions but who was also willing to respectfully question options; and one who dealt well with confrontations and who demonstrated great integrity in all of his responsibilities.  Lucas exemplified leading by example in a manner such that he earned the respect of those with whom he worked.

For some time Lucas has expressed his desire to pursue a career in Aerospace Engineering.  He noted the excellence of the University of Illinois’ program in this area and recognized that the University’s liaisons with Boeing, NASA, and Space-X would provide him opportunities to pursue the body of knowledge that will help to understand our universe.  He has had experience in scientific research while collaborating with his engineering teacher at CVCA for two years.  This teacher is an entrepreneur who has launched his own company in a cutting-edge field and served as a mentor to Lucas. He described Lucas as a student who will always take advantage of any learning opportunity and is punctual in his completion of assignments, thereby allowing extra time to explore concepts in greater depth.  

2014 Charles (Charlie) Hummel 
Charlie attended Shaker Heights High School with a 4.5 GPA (weighted due to AP classes).  His performance on the precollege tests was very superior.  He is self-described as curious and self-motivated, as evidenced by his engagement with online classes in topics of interest to him, i.e., speaking Italian. He and his friend participated in an entrepreneurial program and created their own computer game development company.  He played the trombone since fifth grade and during high school, he participated in the jazz band, marching band, and symphonic band.  He assisted his AP chemistry teacher by working as a lab assistant.  His performance on several AP tests earned him the award of AP Scholar with Distinction by the College Board.  Of course, he has been on the honor roll all four years of high school.  And somehow he found time to play lacrosse and work in a local restaurant, advancing to pizza chef.  His references hold Charlie in very high regard in scholarship, character, and personable demeanor.

Charlie’s choice of Illinois followed the pursuit of Ivy League admission and discovery after visiting those campuses that those environments did not suit him.  His initial interaction with Illinois led him to believe that Illinois was truly interested in him.  Following a visit to the campus on a beautiful spring day he “fell in love with the gorgeous campus”.   Interviews with college admissions staff directed him to explore the college of ACES because it was a good fit with his interests.  The possibility of opportunities to explore his future educational aspirations coupled with a significant scholarship offer sealed the deal.  Charlie has declared his major as Agricultural and Biological Engineering with a focus on the environment and environmental engineering. Charlie has a particular interest in water management, certainly an important issue this country will face in the future.

2013 Joshua Schultheiss
Joshua Schultheiss is a graduate of Shaker Heights High School who will be attending the University of Illinois with a double major in Computer Engineering with Jazz Studies.  His application documented his acumen in academic, musical and service performance throughout his high school career.

Josh’s GPA of 4.1 in a demanding schedule filled with A.P. classes in math, science, U.S. government and English language and Composition did not deter him from participating in music lessons, competitions, and music therapy service opportunities.  He was a member of the school Jazz Combo and Ensemble, Percussion Ensemble (in school and at the Music Settlement), a four year participant in the Berklee City Music Network program at the Music Settlement, and has toured extensively with the Shaker Heights High School Marching Band to Italy, Austria, Germany and Turkey.  He has been a leader of the Symphonic Band Section and the Drumline and Squad Sections. 

Josh has participated in the Science Olympiad and his teams qualified for the state tournament in 2010 and 2013 while addressing such challenging questions as “How many drops of water are in Lake Erie?”, building a musical instrument,  and understanding the physics of sound. In 2013 he participated in the VEX Robotics Tournament with Excellence Awards and Tournament Championship.  

Josh somehow found time to volunteer to help a special needs student through the Music Therapy Peer Model program and to direct a City Mission drumline of elementary students. Josh served as a camp counselor in the Strike up the Band Program for two weeks, five days a week, 6 hours a day supervising 15 children while teaching proper techniques of all types of percussive instruments as well as conducting and arranging skills.  

Josh rounded out his high school career by being on the Shaker Heights Golf team for three years, being a campaign manager for the successful election of the class of 2015 president, hosting a Chilean exchange student during 2011, and exploring and researching the latest technology of smartphones, tablets, and computers.

His composition expressing his excitement and commitment to the University of Illinois exemplified all that proud Illinois alumni could desire. As the new Computer Engineering building is opening this fall, Josh is eager to become a part of that program and will be participating in a Living Learning Community as well. He has been warmly welcomed by the music department, serendipitously connecting with one of his Cleveland teacher’s colleagues and was assisted by the Dean of Music Admissions in creating the pathway to his dual major.

2011 Min-Yee Deng
The Cleveland Illini Club Scholarship Committee is proud to announce the 2011 recipient - Min-Yee Deng. Min-Yee is a graduate of Mayfield High School and is planning to major in Aerospace Engineering at Illinois. She chose U of I because of the Aerospace ranking as well as the fact that Illinois has one of the largest engineering libraries in the country. After she visited, Illinois became her favorite – big enough to participate in a variety of activities but small enough to focus on her studies. The committee was very impressed with her accomplishments, character and glowing references. 

2010 Andrew Margolis
Our 2010 scholarship recipient is Andrew Margolis, an outstanding new addition to the Illinois campus. Andrew is an accomplished gymnast (U.S.A.G. Junior Olympic Qualifier, State Champ and member of Team U.S.A. at the 18th World Maccabiah Games in Tel Aviv). He was First Team Academic All American (USA Gymnastics) all four years of high school, a testament to his outstanding academic performance. Andrew also has an exemplary volunteer record, serving as a Special Olympics judge, Orchard Middle School camp counselor, peer tutor, freshman mentor and participant in the National Youth Leadership Forum on National Security.  He has also been the top male fundraiser (every year since 2003!) as part of a team raising significant funds for Rainbow Babies and Children’s Hospital.

Andrew is very enthusiastic to join the Illinois family as a member of the Men's Gymnastics team and a Mechanical Engineering student, stating ‘I cannot describe how eager I am to become a member of the ILLINI family!’ Congratulations, Andrew! 

2009 Corey Guastini
Our 2009 Cleveland Illini Club scholarship recipient is Corey Guastini. Corey is an extremely impressive young man, earning the respect and admiration of his coaches, teachers and mentors. His academic record is second to none. As a track and cross country leader, he was a major contributor to his team's success.  He received the Archie Griffin Award for Sportsmanship, was recognized as a Northeast Ohio Conference Scholar-Athlete and served as captain of the cross country team his senior year.  He helped with various fundraisers and was valued as an attentive mentor to new student-athletes.  Corey recognizes Illinois as a flagship institution of the Midwest and quickly fell in love with the campus. He plans to major in Atmospheric Science and is really looking forward to his four years at Illinois.

2007 Ting Hsu
We're pleased to announce Ting Hsu as our 2007 Cleveland Illini Scholarship Recipient! Ting is a graduate of Westlake High School and planning to major in Accounting at UIUC this fall. In addition to her outstanding academic marks, she has a resume full of leadership and volunteer activities during her high school career. Ting has served terms as Co-President of her local SADD chapter and Facilitator of their school's Leadership Challenge. She has received high awards both in solo and ensemble competitions playing both the flute and piano. In addition, Ting has volunteered as a tutor for her local library and as an Ideastream volunteer for the local PBS station.