Seth Powers
Eureka College
ACI General Scholarship

Seth Powers came to Eureka College from Normal, Illinois, to study political science and communications. “I started out with just a political science degree, actually pre-law and a communication minor. Then, as I started taking more communication classes, I realized I was really interested in that, and it was something I wanted to pursue further, especially in my career,” he says. Now a senior, Powers is focused on a career in public relations, and with his political science background, could possibly end up working on campaigns.

While at Eureka, Powers participates in student government, something he has done most of the time he’s been in college. He has served as a student representative, joined the student government executive board, and in his junior year, was the student body president at Eureka. This year, he is student body vice president. “For fun, I do music,” says Powers, who also works in the music department. “I participate in the chorale, the chamber singers, a smaller group of singers, and I helped start a men’s a capella group.”

Powers finances his college education with the help of his family, federal and state aid, work study, and an ACI General Scholarship. He’s grateful he was awarded the ACI scholarship, which helped him pay for tuition this year, and he’s appreciative of the donors who made it possible. “I think the most important thing is that these funds make a real difference in students’ lives,” Powers says. “For me, it’s the difference between 20 hours per week and working 10 hours a week. Those 10 hours a week where I would be working go towards extracurriculars, doing better in my academics and applying for jobs once I graduate. It’s time relief. This money gives us more time to do the things that are going to benefit us in the long run.”

Leila Marie Bantonina
Greenville University
ACI General Scholarship

It’s a long way to Greenville, Illinois from Makawao, Hawaii. Yet, Leila Marie Bantolina enrolled at Greenville University, where she is majoring in biology and is a guard on the women’s basketball team. “I was recruited through basketball,” she says. “I wanted something different from what most people from Hawaii do – to get out of the islands. I found Greenville, and when I came here it was even more perfect.”

A first-generation sophomore student and the first of five children in the family to attend college, Bantolina plans to attend medical school to become a pediatrician or a physician’s assistant in pediatrics. “I’ve always had the interest of being a doctor ever since I was young,” she says, adding she hopes to return to Hawaii after completing her education.

Her biology major and playing basketball occupy much of her time, however, Bantolina and her basketball teammates find time for volunteer work in the Greenville community, often in local churches.

Though her family has little experience with higher education, college has been a great experience, Bantolina says, and the ACI scholarship makes it possible for her to pursue her dreams. “It definitely has changed my life. My mom is a single parent, and she does pay for my college tuition. It definitely helps her, helps me stay in school and be motivated to stay in school,” she says.

In addition to the ACI scholarship, she finances her education with another academic scholarship and loans. Bantolina is appreciative of the scholarships and the donors who make them possible. “There are many people that aren’t as fortunate as other people,” she says. “Being a donor to someone that really needs it and wants it makes an impact.”

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