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Program started by Union woman receives grants

Judson University alum Nancy Binger (left) and Barrington Hills resident Gayle Gianopulos present the Road to Independent living, Spiritual formation and Employment (RISE) program to students at Judson University's Herrick Chapel in Elgin.
Judson University alum Nancy Binger (left) and Barrington Hills resident Gayle Gianopulos present the Road to Independent living, Spiritual formation and Employment (RISE) program to students at Judson University's Herrick Chapel in Elgin.

Judson University’s RISE program recently was awarded donations for student scholarships from two Barrington-area foundations.

Judson received the first of three annual donations from the Foglia Family Foundation.

The gifts will contribute to tuition costs for RISE scholarships, allowing students with intellectual disabilities to participate in the on-campus college experience.

“It is an honor to be among the many wonderful organizations that the Foglia family supports,” said RISE program director Kathy Lambert. “We are excited to know that the RISE program has scholarship monies to award for several years, thanks to our new friends at the Foglia Family Foundation.”

The RISE program launched in 2017, and was started by Nancy Binger of Union and Gayle Gianopulos of Barrington Hills. RISE is a two-year, live-on-campus, certificate of completion program that prepares students with intellectual disabilities for independent living and employment.

Students fully participate in classes, internships and Judson University activities, events, clubs and organizations.

The RISE Program also is a recipient of a $5,000 scholarship from the Barrington Area Community Foundation. The scholarship will be awarded to a Barrington-area student enrolled in the RISE program for fall semester. 

“We are thrilled that the Barrington Area Community Foundation selected the RISE program to receive this support for a Barrington-area student,” Lambert said. “There are so many deserving causes in the Barrington area, and we were inspired by our fellow recipients and humbled to be selected.”

In May 2018, students in the first RISE cohort completed the first year of the two-year program.

“It was an incredible year. Our students thrived, and the entire Judson community was impacted in very positive ways,” RISE assistant director Brian Madaj said. “We learned so much and are continually improving our program.”

To learn about Judson’s RISE program, visit www.judsonu.edu/RISE.

• Judson University is a fully accredited, private Christian institution representing the Church at work in higher education. Nestled along the Fox River in Elgin, 40 miles northwest of Chicago, Judson is home to more than 1,280 students from 37 states and 20 countries. Judson offers degrees in more than 65 majors and minors for traditional, graduate and adult students.

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