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McHenry County College Names Fall 2020 Recipient of Joseph A. Blanco Award

McHenry County College (MCC) recently honored Amber Meyer with the Fall 2020 Joseph A. Blanco Spirit Award, a $600 scholarship given to a student who displays the ability to work towards completion of a degree or certificate while overcoming a disability and maintaining a positive attitude.

Meyer was selected by the MCC Access and Disability Services (ADS) department for displaying the work ethic, motivation, and determination to succeed that the award recognizes.  

“Amber has worked harder than just about any student I know,” said MCC writing tutor Ellen Morton, who frequently worked with Meyer and nominated her for the award. “She has advanced and learned so much during her time at MCC, growing more confident with every ‘A’ she earns.”

Meyer recently graduated with an associate degree, culminating 20 years of on-and-off effort to earn a degree from MCC. She has not earned lower than a B since returning for her fourth and final quest for her associate’s in 2018, and anticipates that her final GPA will come in at about 3.5.

As a member of the international honor society Phi Theta Kappa, Amber has been offered a sizeable scholarship package from Lake Forest College where she plans to seek a degree in psychology. 

Amber and her husband are parents to five children at home—one of which has special needs—and all are currently learning virtually. “This means Zoom tutoring sessions with Amber are frequently interrupted by one or more of her children—yet somehow she remains focused on her coursework.” Morton said. “Amber is kind and appreciative, but her true strength lies in her determination to learn and succeed, making her a most worthy candidate for the Joe Blanco Spirit Award.”

The Spirit Award was founded in 2009 by Joe Blanco—a beloved MCC tutor and member of the ADS staff—before he passed away in 2011, as a way to honor students who inspire others every day.