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TheBANK awards community scholarships to four Metro East students

bankofedwardsvillescholarships2018EDWARDSVILLE – Four high school seniors from throughout the Metro East were recently selected to receive college scholarships through TheBANK of Edwardsville’s Community Scholarship Program. Each will receive $2,000 per year for four years of education.

Austin Huang from Edwardsville High School, Emma Murphy from Althoff High School, Kira Patrylak from Collinsville High School and Kaleb Rakers from Belleville West High School, were chosen as the 2018 scholarship recipients. The recipients were selected from a large group of applicants based on their positive leadership and character in both academic achievements and community activities.

“TheBANK of Edwardsville established this scholarship program 18 years ago as a commitment to the education of our future leaders,” said Kevin Powers, president and CEO of TheBANK of Edwardsville. “We are very proud of the accomplishments of the students who were selected from this year’s impressive pool of applicants, and we look forward to watching them progress through college and enter the workforce. Congratulations to the students for all of their achievements thus far.”

TheBANK introduced its Community Scholarship Program in August of 2000, pledging $1.3 million toward scholarships to be awarded over 30 years to graduating seniors of local high schools. The Greater Edwardsville Area Community Foundation, which is governed by a board of local residents, administers the program with a selection committee which interviews the finalists and selects the final scholarship recipients.

As in years past, the selection committee evaluated the applicants on academic achievements, leadership and character exhibited both at school and in extracurricular activities. Selection criteria also included leadership in community activities as well as the positive impact the students have had on others.

This year’s scholarship recipients were:
• Austin Huang, Edwardsville High School: Austin is undecided on which university he will attend, but plans to study Chemistry with a minor in Economics. He is the son of Shaoxiong Huang and Yanhong Zhang;
• Emma Murphy, Althoff High School: Emma will attend Loyola Marymount University, where she plans to study Biology. She is the daughter of Patrick and Jennifer Murphy;
• Kira Patrylak, Collinsville High School: Kira will attend Colorado State University, where she plans to major in Biomedical Science before entering veterinary school. She is the daughter of George and Roxanne Patrylak; and
• Kaleb Rakers, Belleville West High School: Kaleb will choose between the University of Wisconsin, Purdue University and Stanford University, and plans to study Biochemistry. He is the son of Greg and Karen Rakers.

TheBANK’s Community Scholarship Program was created as part of the American Bankers Association’s “Banks of Promise” effort, which is the banking industry’s pledge toward Colin Powell’s “America’s Promise – Alliance for Youth.” TheBANK has committed to America’s Promise by partnering with not-for-profit organizations, athletes, mayors, governors, teachers, college professors and others to benefit youth through a variety of sponsorships and donations.


Pictured, from left, are Kaleb Rakers, Kira Patrylak, TheBANK President and CEO Kevin Powers, Austin Huang and Emma Murphy



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