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McHenry County College honors 4 with Education to Empowerment awards

Alexandra Barker
Alexandra Barker

Four McHenry County College students were named recipients of the prestigious Education to Empowerment award, a unique scholarship and mentoring opportunity for women offered by the Friends of MCC Foundation. The scholarship’s mission is to empower women to reach their fullest potential and achieve economic independence through education, mentoring and financial support.

Alexandra Barker of Oakwood Hills, Jessica Klos of Crystal Lake, Sarah Meyer of Crystal Lake and Katherine Yohe of McHenry recently received the honor.

“It is such an honor and privilege to be part of these young women’s educational journeys,” said Nancy Wenzel, co-chairwoman of the Education to Empowerment Executive Committee. “To see them now in their second year at MCC and have confidence in their abilities and dedication to go on to further education and future careers is exactly what E2E is all about.”

Barker is the first in her family to attend college and aspires to be an engineer. She plans to earn her associate degree at MCC before transferring to a four-year university to pursue a bachelor’s degree in engineering. She is a member of Phi Theta Kappa Honor Society and has a long history in athletics, both as a participant and a coach.

Barker described herself as hardworking with a strong work ethic, and she works as a cashier at the Jewel-Osco in Cary.

Klos aspires to become a registered nurse and will pursue her certified nursing assistant license and transfer to a four-year college to earn a bachelor’s degree in nursing. She loves working with children and plans to become a pediatric oncology nurse.

Klos was encouraged to attend MCC by her sister, Sarah Klos, a 2016 Education to Empowerment recipient. She works as a camp counselor at a summer residence camp, is a member of Phi Theta Kappa Honor Society and volunteers to help children with disabilities.

Meyer is pursuing an associate degree and will transfer to Illinois State University to pursue a bachelor’s degree in human resource management. She plans to continue her education to earn a Master of Business Administration degree. She is a member of Phi Theta Kappa Honor Society, where she serves as vice president of public relations and helps plan skill-development workshops for students.

Meyer also works part time as a student ambassador for the MCC Welcome Center. She is a member of the MCC choir and works at Three Oaks Recreation Area this summer.

Yohe has worked as paramedic/firefighter for 15 years, following in the footsteps of her mother and grandfather. When her 6-year-old son suffered a traumatic brain injury as a toddler, she decided to change careers so she could work with children like him with special needs.

As a single mom, Yohe is pursuing her associate degree and will transfer to a four-year university to earn her bachelor’s degree in early childhood education with an emphasis in special education. Her goal is to open a preschool on a farm for low-income families and children with special needs to support families like her own and “to continue saving lives, but in a different way.”

Yohe is a member of Phi Theta Kappa Honor Society and looks forward to serving the community whenever possible.

The Education to Empowerment scholarship program began in 2012 with the goal of bringing together influential women to provide scholarships and mentoring opportunities for female students. To qualify for the award, all four scholarship recipients are full-time students who have achieved sophomore status, have earned a cumulative GPA of at least 3.25 and completed a 300-word essay outlining their personal goals.

Each woman will transfer to a four-year college or university in fall 2019 and will continue to enjoy both mentoring and financial support from the scholarship program.

For information about Education to Empowerment or other scholarships, contact the Friends of MCC Foundation office at 815-479-7529.

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