CSBG Scholarship Helping One Winner Focus on a Bright Future

CSBG Scholarship winner Jael Lugano Lokango

A special group of students from Champaign County will receive a boost to their post-secondary study during the 2021-22 academic year. The RPC’s Community Action Board has awarded eight individuals with Community Services Block Grant (CSBG) Scholarships to help defray the cost of their education.

The RPC administers the CSBG Scholarship program with funds awarded from the Illinois Department of Commerce and Community Affairs. Each scholarship recipient receives a portion of the $10,000 scholarship award, depending on the number of awardees chosen and at the discretion of the scholarship committee.

One of this year’s winners is excited for the scholarship to relieve some of the stress of loans and college debt for her and her family. University of Illinois student Jael Lugano Lokango will be a sophomore with an undeclared major this fall but hopes to gain admittance into the Gies College of Business.

“Currently in my family, both my older sister and I are enrolled in universities,” Jael says. “With this scholarship, my family of eight, which includes two full-time students, will worry less because of this financial aid.”

She also says the scholarship will help her better prioritize her time, letting her spend more time studying and less time working. “Through the CSBG Scholarship, I’m able to do that because knowing parts of my finances are covered means I don’t have to worry about working and school can be the only thing on my mind,” she explains.

Jael’s goal is to finish college and earn a bachelor’s degree without any college debt on her record. Through the CSBG Scholarship, she feels she is one step closer to realizing that goal.

Here’s a look at this year’s other seven CSBG Scholarship winners:

  • Kerene Kombe – Pursuing an associate degree at Parkland College
  • Rachel Weinstein – Pursuing a degree in Esthetics at Lakeland College
  • Alia Coleman – Pursuing an associate degeee at Bradley University
  • Alexander Riley – Pursuing a degree in Social Work at the University of Illinois
  • Francky Maemble – Attending the University of Illinois
  • Sage Williams – Pursuing a degree in Social Work from Illinois State University
  • Malea Misenheimer – Studying Sociology, Political Science, and Criminology at the University of Illinois

To be eligible for a CSBG Scholarship, an applicant must be a resident of Champaign County, be at or below 200% of the Federal Poverty Guidelines, be enrolled at or applying to an Illinois post-secondary school (but not have completed a bachelor’s degree), be a full-time student, and meet cumulative grade point average requirements.

We congratulate Jael and all of this year’s winners!

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