(The Riverbend Region – May 14, 2021) The RiverBend Growth Association’s Young Adults Committee (YAC) recently held its year-end ceremony virtually. The committee’s students, mentors, and nine local member non-profit organizations were recognized for all their hard work during the 2020-2021 school year. This year the committee held a VERY successful raffle and was able to raise $10,000.  

There are two seniors and two juniors from each of the five area high schools that help make up this committee. This year we had the opportunity to hear presentations virtually from nine local RBGA member organizations.  Those organizations that were represented during the months of December thru April were: Alton Parks & Recreation, American Cancer Society, Big Brothers Big Sisters, Call for Help, Community Hope Center, Jacoby Arts Center, Kreative Kids, Madison County Child Advocacy Center, and Riverbend Family Ministries.

The YAC students are scored using a point system. Points are received for collecting sponsorship money, ticket sales, article write ups, and communication with their mentors. The students with the most points at the end of the year are awarded a college scholarship. This year there are TEN very deserving students being recognized and awarded for their hard work and dedication to this committee.

The recipients of those scholarships and the amounts awarded are as follows: $3,000 to Ainsley Fortschneider, a 2021 Alton High School graduate, $2,000 to Allie Schrumpf, a junior at Alton High School, and $1,000 to Kristine Lauritzen, a 2021 Marquette Catholic High School graduate. Each of the following students was awarded a $500 scholarship: Abbi Geiger, a 2021 Civic Memorial High School graduate, Kennedy Bickmore, a junior at Civic Memorial High School, Addison Denton, a junior at East Alton-Wood River High School, Jasmine Finley, a 2021 East Alton-Wood River High School graduate, Kamren Mason-El, a junior at Alton High School, Emma Seibert, a 2021 East Alton-Wood River High School graduate, and Reaghan Williams, a junior at East Alton-Wood River High School.

Ainsley Fortschneider says, “I want to thank Stefanie Withers and Trish Holmes for allowing me to be a part of the Riverbend Growth Association YAC this year. I have learned so much from my participation in this group and have made many new connections within the community. I am forever grateful for being awarded a scholarship and highly recommend others to apply for a position on this committee!” 

The RiverBend Growth Association would like to thank the mentors and their organizations for their dedication to the students and the committee: Terri Herbstreit with 1st MidAmerica Credit Union, Cindy Smalley with Cope Plastics, Matthew Parrott with Midwest Members Credit Union, John Barnerd with Simmons Hanly Conroy, and Sandy Smith with Busey Bank. They would also like to thank the principals and delegates from each of the five area high schools: Alton High School, Civic Memorial High School, East Alton – Wood River High School, Marquette Catholic High School, and Roxana High School.