The Illinois Education Foundation (IEF) will host its Annual Scholar Award and Appreciation Reception on June 4, 2011. The IEF will celebrate the success of its scholars and the work of its partners and volunteers. Honored guest, Marty Castro, President of Castro Synergies LLC and Chairperson of the U.S. Commission on Civil Rights, will deliver the keynote address. Marty Castro recently made history as the first Latino to serve as Chairperson for the U.S. Commission on Civil Rights. He has served as a member of various humanitarian, philanthropic and civil rights boards, including the Mexican American Legal Defense and Education Fund, the Chicago Area Foundation for Legal Services, and the Illinois Education Foundation Advisory Board. Castro is also Chairperson of the Illinois Human Rights Commission by appointment of Gov. Pat Quinn. “I am honored to be speaking to such a dedicated and focused group of students,” said Castro.
Nielsen, which is committed to investing in civic and social justice organizations, educational institutions, and grassroots initiatives, will also honor the hard work of IEF Scholars. Nielsen will award the IEF with $3,500 in support of scholars in the fields of science, technology, engineering and math. This reception will also celebrate the accomplishments of the IEF community and pay special tribute to those scholars who are graduating this year. IEF Scholar Amanda Star, who graduated from Truman College in 2008 and transferred to DePaul University, has been selected as the 2011 IEF Scholar-dictorian. Star, a single mother to a child with special needs, is graduating this year magna cum laude with a degree in elementary education. She was selected for this honor because of her outstanding academic record, incredible work ethic, and ability to meet any challenge that confronts her. Star will reflect on her time as an IEF Scholar and discuss her plans for the future.