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Education to Empowerment Scholarship Members Named 2018 Women of Distinction

[Monday, May 7, 2018]


Erin Smith                                             Bobbi Baehne                           Carole Peters

Three members of the Friends of McHenry County College Foundation’s prestigious Education to Empowerment (E2E) Scholarship program have been named 2018 Women of Distinction Award recipients.

Erin Smith of Lakewood, founding chair of the E2E program; Bobbi Baehne of McHenry, foundation board member and Carole Peters of Marengo, E2E member and executive director of United Way Greater McHenry County will be recognized, along with seven other influential women throughout the county at a Women of Distinction awards luncheon at 11 a.m. May 10 at Boulder Ridge Country Club in Lake in the Hills.

The annual Women of Distinction Award, sponsored by Shaw Media, is presented to women who have been chosen as representative role models and leaders in their fields and communities.

Baehne, owner of Think Big Go Local digital marketing firm, won a MCC Distinguished Alumni Award last year. Baehne brings her marketing skills to assist E2E in event planning.  Erin Smith served on the initial organizing committee of Education to Empowerment in 2012. She was responsible for pulling together several women with the same mission of financially assisting women at McHenry County College with their education in their second year at MCC and their first year at university. Carole Peters has brought 25 years’ experience in sales, marketing, finance, and business development to United Way of Greater McHenry County. New this spring to E2E, Peters said she is excited about the chance to further build the organization through her vast network of community members. 

“The members of Education to Empowerment feel particularly fortunate to applaud the efforts and showcase three of our scholarship program participating members,” said Friends of MCC Foundation event and Outreach Coordinator Bev Thomas. “We are proud that E2E is an important part of their lives and that we have the chance to benefit from their leadership skills.”

The Education to Empowerment scholarship began in 2013 with the goal of bringing together 100 influential McHenry County women to provide scholarships and mentoring opportunities for MCC female students. To date, E2E has awarded $168,000 in scholarships to 21 students. Former recipient Lindsey Loncsar of Huntley, says: “Thank you again for empowering me through this foundation, as I have used that motivation to empower the lives of  the children who are now my students as I go on to my first full-time teaching position.”

For more information about Education to Empowerment or other scholarships, contact the Friends of MCC Foundation Office at (815) 479-7529. To order tickets for the Women of Distinction awards luncheon, visit or email

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