S.O.A.R. SCHOLARSHIP: Student’s Inspiration To Serve

WARREN, ILLINOIS - Hannah McGivney does a lot... and she's got the scrapbook to prove it.

The Warren High School Senior is involved in Servant Leadership - a community service program she joined when she enrolled in CollegeNow at Highland Community College last fall.

"You can get college credits and still be considered in high school and go to prom, go to homecoming, play sports, do all my organizations and clubs - like, how can anything get any better than that?" said Hannah.

However, that means she's spent her last year of high school working hard on her first year of college.

It's just one of the reasons why we're surprising Hannah with a S.O.A.R. Scholarship in partnership with The Sedona Group.

"I wasn't expecting it," she said. "I was caught off guard. I had no idea."

Hannah's passion for service is why she's determined to become a Speech Pathologist.

"I love helping people, so if I could help people in that way I feel like it would be a great experience," she said. "At the end of the day, I know I would go home and I would feel like I accomplished something that day."

There's another reason, too - her grandfather:

"My Grandpa was diagnosed with Alzheimer's when I was around 12 years old and I watched the whole process and it was really difficult for my mom and my family and we did everything we could to help him, but seeing the whole process it made me realize how important speech is and how important chewing and swallowing and hearing all is," she explained.

It's small things we take for granted, but Hannah doesn't. She plans to do big things by finishing her Associate's Degree at Highland next year, then transferring to Illinois State University.

It's the next chapter in her scrapbook and she says she's excited to start it - and S.O.A.R.

The S.O.A.R. Scholarship is a $1,000 check given to five high school seniors in our area every year. S.O.A.R. stands for Strength of Character, Optimism, Achievement in Academics and Volunteerism, and Resolve.