The Coles County SWCD Foundation was very pleased with the quality of applications we received for this year’s merit-based scholarship contest. All of the applicants were exemplary students, and it was a close competition! The winners of this year’s contest are Sheridan Noll and Joseph Perez of Charleston, and Rebecca Royer of Oakland.
Sheridan Noll, daughter of Dan and Wynette Noll, is a senior at Greenville University. She is studying environmental biology, and plans to pursue a career that will help conserve natural resources and wild areas. In addition to volunteer work at Douglas Hart Nature Center and the Coles County Animal Shelter, on summer breaks, Ms. Noll has worked as an interpreter at Fort Stevenson State Park, and as a biological science technician for the US Army Corps of Engineers. She has also helped monitor endangered least terns and piping plovers.
Joseph Perez, son of Eric and Kristin Davis, is a freshman at Southern Illinois University at Edwardsville. He is studying biology – ecology, evolution, and environment. He would like to research the effects of climate change on various animal species, and apply that knowledge to better conserve the earth and its resources. Mr. Perez has extensive volunteer experience as a member of the student council, as an intern at Douglas-Hart Nature Center, and as a boy scout. He has achieved the rank of Eagle Scout.
Rebecca Royer, daughter of Ruben and Leann Royer, is a freshman at Lake Land College with plans to transfer to the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. She is studying agricultural education and leadership, with the goal of becoming an agriculture teacher. Ms. Royer earned straight As in high school, served on the student council, held leadership positions in the FFA, and served as a volunteer for “Moms on a Mission.” She also spearheaded Oakland High School’s water testing program in the Embarras River, monitoring the phosphate and nitrate levels in the river and tributaries.