Education to Empowerment

Education to Empowerment is an exciting woman’s scholarship program presented by the Friends of McHenry County College Foundation. This unique and innovative program provides financial support and ongoing mentorship for female McHenry County College students completing their final year at MCC and continuing onto a four-year college or university toward an advanced degree. To date, Education to Empowerment has awarded $168,000 in scholarships to 21 female MCC students.

We invite you to consider joining the more than 60 Education to Empowerment members who have already stepped up to support education in our community. We thank you for your interest and look forward to hearing from you soon.

Join us July 20, 2017, as we award the 2018 scholarship recipients and wish our prior recipients well as they continue their educational journeys. Let us know you'll be attending the 2018 Scholarship Awards Reception.



Congratulations 2017 Education to Empowerment Scholarship Recipients

Kate Jane Marie Birr

Kate Jane Marie Birr

Kate Jane Marie Birr of Cary is completing her AAS degree in Baking and Pastry Management and plans to transfer to a four-year university in either Rhode Island or in New York to pursue pastry arts and eventually teach foods classes. She earned the Girl Scout Gold Award, and her capstone project was organization of the Prairie Ridge High School Band music library. She also has been an active volunteer at her church and with community organizations.
Amber Anne Steiger

Amber Anne Steiger

Amber Anne Steiger of Woodstock has maintained a 4.0 grade point average every semester at MCC since Fall 2015 and plans to graduate in Spring 2018 with her associate’s degree. She will then transfer to a four-year university to major in English. She decided to pursue a career as an English professor after taking composition and Women’s Literature classes from highly supportive instructors at MCC. She has provided outstanding service to the Student Peace Action Network at MCC and volunteered for several events, including Take Back the Night and the Letters to Santa Campaign. She is also a member of Phi Theta Kappa Honor Society.
Julia Marie Janeczko

Julia Marie Janeczko

Julia Marie Janeczko of Crystal Lake loves working with children and is a swim coach and instructor. Her career aspiration is to become a pediatrician. She plans to complete her associate’s degree at MCC, then transfer to the University of Texas at Austin to pursue pre-med/biological sciences. She hopes to finish her education with a Doctor of Medicine degree at Dell Medical School of Utah. She is a member of Phi Theta Kappa Honor Society. She also is the daughter of 2015 Education to Empowerment recipient, Lorrie Janeczko.
Sidney Lynn Connor

Sidney Lynn Connor

Sidney Lynn Connor of McHenry took an Intro to Psychology class during her first semester at MCC and learned about functional neurology, which she decided to pursue as a career. After completing her associate’s degree at MCC, she will transfer to a four-year university to study exercise science. She plans to continue her education to earn a Doctor of Chiropractic with a certification in functional neurology.
Madeline H. Padjen

Madeline H. Padjen

Madeline H. Padjen of Crystal Lake is pursuing an associate’s degree and will transfer to a four-year college to pursue a bachelor’s degree in nursing. She plans to become a pediatric oncology nurse “to make a difference.” She was on the President’s Honor list at MCC in both Fall 2015 and Fall 2016, and is a member of Phi Theta Kappa Honor Society at MCC.
Molly Grace Schwieger

Molly Grace Schwieger

Molly Grace Schwieger of Wonder Lake plans to graduate from MCC in Spring 2018. She wants to major in psychology and hopes to become a counselor to help people, especially children. She is a member of Phi Theta Kappa and Psi Beta honor societies.

Each scholarship recipient received a full-year scholarship at MCC, as well as financial assistance when transferring to a four-year school. The award ceremony highlighted all the recipients' accomplishments as well as the unique nature of the scholarship program.


The Friends of McHenry County College Foundation wishes to thank the following companies for their sponsorship of Education to Empowerment:

Gold Sponsors

Advocate Good Sheperd Hospital First Midwest Bank Logo Morgan Stanley Wealth Management Market Financial

Silver Sponsors

Working World  Mortenson Construction