In 2007, the Village of Skokie established the Excellence in Government Management scholarship at Oakton Community College to commemorate the 50th anniversary of Skokie residents overwhelmingly adopting a 1957 referendum instituting the Council-Manager form of government in the community. Since then, the scholarship has provided much-needed financial support to Skokie residents of all ages who attend classes at Oakton while pursuing careers in government administration, public safety, public health and other disciplines related to government operations and public service. To date, scholarships have been given to a wide range of Skokie residents of various ages, races, genders and backgrounds to assist in their educational pursuits. The photo to the right, taken in November 2019, shows Mayor George Van Dusen and Skokie resident Javier Montoya, recipient of the 2019-20 Excellence in Government Management Scholarship, who aspires to a career in law enforcement.
The recipient of the 2020-21 Excellence in Government Management scholarship is Odi Nano, a first-generation college student who graduated from Niles West High School in May 2020. The Village scholarship has helped Odi tremendously, allowing him to pursue his education despite his family’s financial struggles. In addition to attending classes at Oakton, Odi works part-time at a fast-food restaurant to help support his family. He is currently pursuing an EMT certificate with the hopes of one day becoming a firefighter.
Each year, Oakton Community College awards more than $800,000 in scholarships to students who attend the college with an average award of $1,500.
The application for the Oakton Educational Foundation and Institutional scholarships, including the Village of Skokie Excellence in Government Management Scholarship, will open on January 1. Applications received by Wednesday, March 31, 2021 will receive priority in review and award consideration. The application can be found at www.oakton.edu/scholarships and remains open to all students through summer and fall 2021.