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McHenry County College Names 2022 Education to Empowerment Scholarship Recipients

Ten McHenry County College (MCC) students have received the prestigious Education to Empowerment (E2E) award, a scholarship and mentoring opportunity for women offered through the Friends of MCC Foundation. The scholarship's mission is to empower women to reach their fullest potential and achieve economic independence through education, mentoring, and financial support.

“We have an incredible group of E2E scholarship recipients this year,” said Jessica Rizza, development coordinator for the Foundation. “Each of these women are committed to their education and want to make a difference in their community. We are proud to call them MCC students and congratulate them on this remarkable achievement.”

The 2022 recipients are Mikayla Zinkel of Cary; Laura Meyer and Baylee Snell of Crystal Lake; Yeika Ares, Isabella Doles, and Kaitlyn Ignarski of Huntley; Valeria Arreguin of Island Lake; Arianna Fuchs and Joselyn Golubski of McHenry; and Kaitlyn Mauch of Woodstock.

The recipients and their career plans are as follows:

  • Mikayla Zinkel plans to pursue a career in Criminal Justice. She wants to help people in need and advocate for people from all circumstances and backgrounds.
  • Laura Meyer is pursuing a degree in business management and public health. She wants to help others lead long, happy, healthy lives and ensure all communities have equal access to resources that will improve their overall wellbeing.
  • Baylee Snell is studying to become an adaptive physical education teacher. She is passionate about physical education and turning it into a positive experience for all students regardless of their athletic abilities.
  • Yeika Ares wants to become a middle school social worker where she can guide and support the next generation of students.
  • Isabella Doles dreams of becoming a commercial airline pilot. In addition to her flight experience, she plans to obtain a bachelor’s degree in international business.
  • Kaitlyn Ignarski is studying to make an impact as a labor and delivery nurse. She currently volunteers on the labor and delivery floor at Advocate Sherman Hospital.
  • Valeria Arreguin plans to earn a bachelor’s degree in English after earning her associate degree from MCC. She wants to become both an independent author and hold a full-time writing job.
  • Arianna Fuchs has dreamed of being a business owner her entire life. Driven by her love of the service industry, she plans to own and operate her own inn and restaurant.
  • Joselyn Golubski plans to study veterinary medicine at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. She currently works on the kennel staff at a local veterinary clinic to gain experience for her future career.
  • Kaitlyn Mauck is studying to become a high school science teacher. She wants to be a positive role model for students and instill in them a life-long love of learning.  

To qualify for the award, applicants must be full-time students who have achieved sophomore status and earned a cumulative grade-point average of at least 3.25. Applicants must also complete several essays outlining their personal goals, barriers they have overcome to pursue their education, and the difference that a mentor could make in their lives.  

The Education to Empowerment scholarship began in 2013 with the goal of bringing together 100 influential women in McHenry County who wanted to make a difference by providing scholarships and mentoring opportunities for MCC students. Each woman donates $1,000 each year. To date, the E2E program has awarded $520,000 to 57 MCC students.

“We’re so grateful for the generous women in McHenry County who donate their time and resources to make this possible,” said Rizza. “It’s amazing to see women supporting women.”

“Education to Empowerment is so much more than a scholarship,” added Christina Haggerty, vice president of marketing, communications, and development at MCC. “It’s a great opportunity to build relationships between extraordinary women across McHenry County. By making true connections with these students and providing ongoing mentorship, we’re motivating them to keep going and showing them that they have a whole community who believes in their potential.”

The E2E scholarship provides $10,000 in funding for each student that can be applied toward tuition, books, and fees for a recipient’s last year at MCC and first year at an accredited four-year institution.

This year’s recipients were honored at a special ceremony on July 28.

The next E2E event will be a Fall Luncheon held on Thursday, September 22 at Goebbert’s Farm in Pingree Grove. The Luncheon is open to the public. Registration information will be available soon at

For information about Education to Empowerment or other scholarships, call the Friends of MCC Foundation Office at (815) 479-7529 or visit