February 2, 2017

CARTERVILLE — During a time of financial stress throughout the state, the John A. Logan College Foundation has never been more important to student success.

And in response to growing student needs, the John A. Logan College Foundation has experienced substantial growth over the past year. The Foundation increased in value by more than $300,000 through 2016.

“What does this mean?” asks Staci Shafer, director of the College’s Foundation. “It means we have the ability to help more students with financial needs.”

The Foundation’s assets are currently just shy of $7 million at $6.94 million. By continuing to spread the Foundation’s message in 2017 and through prudent financial investments, Shafer expects to see continued growth this year.

“What we want potential donors to know is this, when you give to the Foundation, you not only impact a student, you impact the entire Southern Illinois community,” Shafer said. “An impact that can have a positive effect for a very long time.”

Shafer explained that when students graduate from John A. Logan College, many times their success remains in the region by living and working here and, in turn, making substantial investments themselves in our region.”

The success of the Foundation resulting in the academic success of students, Shafer said, “is the most rewarding feeling I believe you can have.”

There’s not a day that Shafer, who has been the Foundation’s director for seven years, doesn’t end her day at work without being amazed by the good the Foundation can do for John A. Logan College students.

“That's what is so great about this job,” Shafer said. “When you get to look into the faces of students who just received scholarships and see just how grateful they are that someone cares about their education, their future, it’s an incredibly powerful moment.”

In turn, donors receive letters and photos from scholarship recipients so that they know exactly who they are helping.

“Our donors, too, feel an incredible amount of joy by being able to help someone with their dreams,” Shafer said.

The Foundation administers more than 600 scholarships each year. One major scholarship is the Betty Frances Mattingly Memorial Nursing Scholarship. This scholarship is given to a John A. Logan College student entering the Practical Nursing program with the intention of becoming a registered nurse. The scholarship not only pays for tuition, it pays for gas to get to and from school and housing.

“This is a huge scholarship,” Shafer said. “A very prestigious scholarship.”

This year, the scholarship was presented to Zach Hostetter of Carterville. Hostetter was overwhelmed with the news of receiving the scholarship. He said without it would be financially difficult to continue his education.

“This lifts a huge burden off my shoulders,” he said.

Hostetter also said he “couldn’t believe there are people out there who are willing to fund these kinds of scholarships so that persons like myself can continue our education.”

Shafer added, “It’s been my experience that scholarships are many times the difference between some students being able to go to college or not.”