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Since 2001, Champaign Urbana Schools Foundation has awarded more than $175,000 in scholarships and awards.
Student Scholarships & Awards
For information on these scholarships, please contact the appropriate school guidance office.
The CUSF Difference Maker Scholarship, sponsored by Busey, Horizon Hobby and Orange Krush Foundation was established to honor students who have served their school and community through either work, volunteer service and advocacy and have demonstrated school spirit with a high level of engagement in their high school. A $500.00 scholarship will be awarded to one student at each of our three public high schools.
Ben Watts Memorial Scholarship was established by friends, family and classmates of Ben Watts to honor his memory. Ben Watts, a 1980 Central HS grad, played football for the legendary Tommy Stewart and was a co-valedictorian of his class. He was the father of Olivia Watts, CHS Class of 2017, and Samuel Watts, CHS Class of 2019. Two awards will be given to a Central HS graduating senior boy and girl who are planning to attend a college or university. ($1,000 each)
The Greg Chew Scholarship was established in honor of longtime Urbana High School Drama Director and teacher Greg Chew. This award recognizes a student who demonstrates passion for the fine arts through participation in UHS performances, extended service and dedication to clubs or groups in the fine arts. The student given this award will receive $1,000.00 to pursue a major in an art related field after graduation.
Judge Fred Green Memorial Scholarship Fund Judge Fred Green was a lifelong resident of Urbana and graduated from Urbana High School in 1941 where he was a standout basketball player. After serving in the Army in the South Pacific during World War II, Fred continued his basketball career at the University of Illinois where he was a member of the Illini’s 1949 Final Four team. After graduating from the U of I Law School, Judge Green served with distinction in the Illinois Judiciary for 42 years. A $1,000 scholarship will be awarded each spring to a graduating UHS senior who demonstrates leadership qualities in both their academic and athletic endeavors and plans to attend college.
Keegan Bannon Memorial Scholarship Fund This scholarship is dedicated to the memory of Keegan Bannon an extraordinary Central High School student who passed away unexpectedly in 2010. Keegan’s love of academics, sports and music along with his determination to excel with dedication to a variety of friendships are central to this award. This scholarship was created to reward a graduating Central High School senior who through determination, positive attitude and hard work has exceeded expectations in academics and extra-curricular activities such as music, sports, student government, or other school activities. (approx. $4,800)
The Michael Hartter Scholarship Fund was established in honor of Central High School Class of 1995 graduate Michael Hartter. When Michael was a student at Central he enjoyed participating in a wide range of activities including baseball and football as well as show choir and madrigals, earning letters in both academics and sports. This scholarship is given to a graduating senior who has maintained a grade point average of “B” or better; participated in 2 – 3 years of extra-curricular activities; held leadership roles or served on organizing committees; demonstrates a good temperament and plans to attend a 2 or 4-year college ($1,000).
North End Scholarship The North End, for many years, has been considered the heart of the African American community in Champaign-Urbana. African American owned businesses and churches are predominantly located in the North End, and it is still the residential, cultural and business center for many African Americans living in Champaign- Urbana. This scholarship was established to provide opportunities for minority students with connections to the North End in Champaign-Urbana public schools to pursue higher education and to further their life goals and aspirations. Qualifying students must be a graduating minority student from Unit 4 or District 116, show academic promise as evidenced by their grade point average and plan to attend a public college or university. The scholarship is awarded to one graduating minority senior from each of our three public high schools who demonstrate financial need and academic promise ($500 each).
Perrino Scholarship Fund This scholarship was set up in honor of Dan Perrino, who led the music programs at Urbana High School for four years. After teaching at Urbana High School, he served as an assistant professor, administrator and associate dean at the University of Illinois College of Fine and Applied Arts. This scholarship is for Urbana Middle School and Urbana High School band or orchestra students to attend summer music camps. ($1,900).
Urbana Community Music Education Scholarship Michael and Cynthia Loui, parents of an Urbana High School music program alum established this scholarship after seeing their own children benefit from private music lessons and involvement in the Urbana High School band program. This scholarship fund supports private music lessons for an Urbana High School band or orchestra student/s. Eligible students must be current or incoming Urbana High School band students, demonstrate a commitment to band or orchestra (participated at least 1-2 years in middle school or high school) and demonstrate financial need as determined by Urbana District 116 eligibility guidelines for free and reduced lunch ($1,000).
The Champaign Centennial High School Alumni Scholarship was established in 2019 by the Classes of ’73 and ’74 to honor graduating senior/s who participated in activities embodying Charger spirit and pride. Students will have demonstrated leadership and community service through their time at Centennial. Awards range from $250-$1,000.
The Champaign Central High School Alumni Scholarship was established to recognize the legacy of Central High School in Champaign. Students who are the child or grandchild of a Central High School alumni are eligible to apply for this scholarship. The scholarship is awarded to a student/s who participated fully in the opportunities that Central High School has to offer and exhibits school spirit and pride in being a Maroon with a commitment to maintaining their connection to Central High School beyond graduation. Awards range from $500.00 -$1,000.00.
The Mariel and James Sholem Scholarship was established to give back to Champaign Central High School students who have served their school and community through work, volunteer service, and exceeded expectations in academics at their high school. One student will be awarded a $1,000 scholarship.
Educator Recognition Awards
The Urbana Board of Education established the Amberg Excellence in Teaching Recognition Chair in 2003 to mark Gene Amberg’s 10th year as Superintendent of the Urbana School District and to honor his leadership and dedication to children and educators throughout his career. An annual stipend is awarded to a selected Urbana teacher who exemplifies excellence in teaching every three years.