INA, Ill. – The recipient of this year’s AMVETS Sad Sacks Scholarship to Rend Lake College is Stephanie Gordon of Mt. Vernon.
Gordon is a 26-year-old student in the nursing program at RLC. She is completing the licensed practical nursing program this summer and will begin the associate degree nursing program in August. Her husband, U.S. Army SSG Matt Gordon, returned earlier this month after a year-long tour in Afghanistan with his National Guard Unit out of Effingham. They have an 18-month-old son, Alex.
“They are pretty important,” she said of the AMVETS. “I think I was like a lot of people. I really didn’t pay attention before he was deployed. AMVETS was just a group I would hear about. When he was deployed the AMVETS meant a whole lot more.”
The Amvets Sad Sacks Scholarship is one of the earliest RLC scholarships established through the college’s Foundation. It began with a $250 award in 1979 and was increased to $500 in 1986 and to $750 just this year. Now in its 31st year, the scholarship has been awarded 37 times to the tune of more than $10,000. The Sad Sacks organization received the RLC Foundation’s Bronze Major Gift Award in 2005.
Pat Kern, RLCF CEO stated, “Sad Sacks has been supporting RLC nursing students for more than 30 years. We appreciate them and their dedication to education in our area.”
Since SSG Gordon is not an active component of the U.S. Armed Forces, his Montgomery G.I. Bill does not include educational benefits for his spouse or children.
“We don’t get financial aid through school,” Stephanie said. “Any kind of scholarship for school is a big deal to us. It helps out a lot.”
The scholarship is for a nursing student and takes into account the student’s academic record, character, interest, activities and financial need. Priority is given to the dependent of a deceased or disabled U.S. veteran.
To investigate other scholarship opportunities through the RLC Foundation, visit online at www.rlc.edu/foundation.