ACI General Scholarship
When she was a child, Loislove Boakye (BWA-chay) spent much of her time in hospitals. Born prematurely in the United States to parents who are from Ghana, Boakye had to deal with a variety of health issues. That experience, particularly the care she was given, helped influence her career choice. “I always knew I wanted to be a physician,” she says. “That’s why I’m majoring in biology, hopefully to go to medical schools.” Now a senior at Knox College in Galesburg, Illinois, Boakye hopes to attend medical school, and become a cardiac thoracic surgeon or an emergency room surgeon.
When she was four years old, Boakye and her family moved to Ghana. “My Mom wanted us to understand where she grew up — to understand her language, to speak it,” Boakye says. “I think that is the main reason why we moved to Ghana, just to understand her culture.” Her mother was in Ghana earlier this year for her own mother’s funeral. Because of the pandemic, she was forced to remain in the country for eight months before she could return to the United States and Chicago in September, Boakye says.
Boakye is one of three children in the family. Her family was struggling financially after her father lost one of two full-time jobs, which meant that she was not able to pay tuition costs at college. “Knox did everything for my parents and I when we were struggling financially,” she says. “They helped me figure out a way to get extra aid or get more financial aid.”
Awarded an ACI General Scholarship, Boakye says she was able to remain at Knox. “Maybe I would have stayed home, and probably gone to community college, maybe taken a gap year, but by the grace of God I was able to get extra aid, just to finish off my final year. That was my biggest worry,” she says. In addition to the ACI scholarship, Boakye has other scholarships for academic achievement, service and leadership.
At Knox, Boakye is a member and was secretary of the college’s Harambee Club, for people of African descent. She also participates in ABLE, Allied Blacks for Liberty and Equality, which promotes cultural awareness and raises issues that affect students of African descent, and InterVarsity Christian fellowship, a Christian organization. Boakye works in Knox’s health services center and in the campus audio-visual department.
She calls her scholarship at “a blessing in disguise,” because she was unsure about how she would finance the final year of college. “I’m very, very grateful for the generosity of the donors,” Boakye adds.
ACI General Scholarship
Cory Rice and Devin Rice are fraternal twins from St. Louis who chose to attend Quincy University in Western Illinois. They chose the school because it was near home, they could play on the university’s football team and family members could attend most of their games. To help with their studies, each was awarded a scholarship through ACI — Cory was awarded a McGraw Foundation Emergency Financial Aid grant and Devin, an ACI General Scholarship.
At first, neither knew much about Quincy University, Cory says. But the university and the scholarships helped convince Cory and Devin to attend. “Our mom was able to come to every game. It’s easier for her and financially, Quincy has been helpful,” he says.
“Quincy felt like a family,” says Devin. “When I met the coaches, they really brought us in. They were the main school that reached out to us. They kind of took us under their wing. I decided to take the journey with them and be a Hawk.”
Cory and Devin were raised by their mother, Dawn, with help from supportive family members. They have a younger brother who attends Missouri Valley College, Marshall, Missouri, and plays basketball. “It’s hard for a single mom to raise three kids by herself and put them into college,” Cory says. Devin adds that he is grateful for his family, including a grandmother, aunts, uncles and cousins. “Everybody helped us on this journey. I can’t thank my mom enough,” Devin says.
Today, both men are sports management majors. It’s a natural for both, because the family has been heavily involved in sports most of their lives, says Cory. After college, he wants to become a physical therapy assistant, which keeps him involved in sports. Devin says both started criminal justice majors at Quincy. He switched to exercise science and then to sports management. “My goal is to have my own gym one day and train kids to be athletes,” he says.
Their scholarships through ACI make a difference for both. “With the scholarship, it obviously helps,” Cory says. “At the end of the day, it’s going to help, and it’s going to make you a better student and make your education better. That’s the number one goal.”
Family support has also been a big factor in their college success. “Without the support, without the scholarship, I don’t know where my life would be right now,” Devin says. “It’s truly a blessing.”
The Quincy University experience has meant a lot to the brothers. Devin says he has learned from professors who have guided his academic studies. “If you’re willing to put in the work, then you’ll succeed at anything you do. The journey at Quincy has been really fun,” he said.
“We have a lot of teachers that are willing to help you reach your goals and give you a personal connection,” says Cory. “It’s like a family here, and that’s one thing I like about Quincy.”