The Community Foundation of Northern Illinois, Highland Community College and Rockford University announce Rubin Education Challenge

 In a major announcement, the Community Foundation of Northern Illinois announced matching endowments to Highland Community College and Rockford University. The matching endowments will create $1,000,000 in endowed funds for scholarships. The endowed scholarship funds will be awarded to students who attend HCC or RU, are from Northern Illinois, and can demonstrate financial need.

The matching endowments are named the Rubin Education Challenge, after Dr. Louis and Violet Rubin who left a bequest to the Community Foundation of Northern Illinois (CFNIL) of $24.5 million in 2012. The Rubin's legacy lives on in name and spirit. CFNIL will match every dollar contributed by the HCC and RU toward the creation of the endowed scholarship funds.

The Rubin Education Challenge is part of Education Works, a grant making strategy recently adopted by CFNIL's Board of Trustees to support the region's education-to-employment pipeline, by funding after-school programs, career awareness initiatives, and scholarship endowments for the region's post-secondary educational institutions.

According to CFNIL President Jon Bates, "The Community Foundation of Northern Illinois is excited to find willing partners in Highland Community College and Rockford University to build permanent scholarship endowments. The scholarships will create more opportunities for students with financial need, produce more college graduates, and strengthen the workforce in our region. The scholarships will also strengthen two of our great post-secondary institutions by providing them with a perpetual revenue stream."

The purpose of Highland Community College's participation in the Rubin Education Challenge will be to provide opportunities for students with some degree of need to enroll in and complete degree and certificate programs. Pathways, which would be available to scholarship recipients, include obtaining transfer degrees and opportunities for students to transfer seamlessly to four-year institutions; obtaining degrees and/or certificates which would allow them to upgrade their employment and earnings potential, and continuing education opportunities for training and professional advancement for current professional through Highland's Business Institution and Lifelong Learning programs.

Speaking at an event announcing the creation of the Rubin Educational challenge, Highland Community College President Tim Hood said, "We are very encouraged by the new scholarship opportunities that will emerge through partnership with the Community Foundation of Northern Illinois. The Rubin Education Challenge will provide up to $1 million in matching scholarship funds for Highland students. The challenge is to raise funding for the new scholarship throughout our district, and all that we raise, up to at least $1 million, will be doubled by the match."

(Left to right): Tim Hood, president of Highland Community College, Jim Berberet, executive director of the Highland Foundation, Jon Bates, president of the Community Foundation of Northern Illinois and representatives from Rockford University accept symbolic checks for the Rubin Education Challenge, which is part of Education Works, a grant making strategy.

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