May 24th, 2018.  We are pleased and proud to announce the fifth scholarship for the class of 2018 was awarded Hinsdale Central.

This scholarship is valued at $1,500 annually, renewable for four years and is valued over 4 years at $6,000.  This is a category 1 scholarship.

For all the information on the KJO Memorial Scholarships offered in 2018 click here.

Kelli in her short life accomplished much, even more after she was taken from us. Speaking as her father and parent of three other wonderful now grown children; my best accomplishments and in general as a parent our best accomplishments are you, our children.  We look to you to lead the world, to take our mistakes and them better. To live your lives as we have hopefully shown you with conviction, with heart, and most of all with caring and compassion

That’s what the KJO memorial scholarship is about, helping our children reach their fullest potential of kindness, compassion, caring, and leadership.  Our scholarship is a bit different in that we want to acknowledge and appreciate those that make the school a kinder and gentler place in their own way.  We ask for an unweighted GPA of 3.0. We ask the applicant play a sport for 3 years in high school. We ask the applicant write an essay and describe how they demonstrated, how they lived, their compassion and caring.

Our foundation and family would like to recognize one recipient here at Hinsdale Central today.  This year’s recipient, like many of you, keeps very busy.  A few activities include; Band Section Leader, not saying what section – we like a bit of suspense

Tennis Player, yes Kelli was a tennis player too, but that’s not a requirement.  Any sport played for 3 years in high school satisfies the requirement.

This year’s recipient excels in the classroom and gives back to others. Their essay was about their eagle scout project, a service project to distribute backpacks with winter supplies to help the homeless during winter.  Oh Yes, they’re an Eagle Scout too.

We have a section of the application that invites the student to introduce themselves and tell us why they are applying for the scholarship.  For the first time in almost 1000 applications, this person started with a numbered list

Allow me to read some of this introduction to you..

#1 In a past life, I would be René Descartes, a renowned philosopher.

#2 My wand’s core is composed of phoenix feathers.  Of course, an obvious Harry Potter Reference

#3 I am unhealthily obsessed with roasted red pepper hummus.

He goes on to say…

Now, I promise that I’m not crazy: I simply see the world differently.  

Skipping ahead to about why he’s applying… “But most of all, I am a caring individual, and that’s what this scholarship is all about. While the money will definitely help finance a college degree, this scholarship isn’t simply about paying for college. It is in the name, Kelli Joy–a symbol of hope, perseverance, and kindness. I can only hope to honor and continue her legacy in college through community service initiatives, social justice campaigns, and helping my peers break their own personal ceilings. That’s what it means to be a Kelli Joy Scholarship recipient.”

Well, we couldn’t have said it better ourselves…

The Kelli Joy O’Laughlin Memorial Scholarship is awarded to Sachin Shiva.