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Behind the Scenes With Generations Scholarship Co-Founder Andy Duerkop

For the past month, we’ve been walking you through the ins and outs of our Scholar Dollars and ELD Grant programs, as well as our incredible Scholarship offerings. This month, we’re bringing you some one on one interviews with scholarship funders and partners, Scholars who have received funding, and more.

We spoke with Andy Duerkop, founder of the Generations Scholarship with Chicago Scholars, around why he chose to work with CS, why founding a scholarship was important for him, and what his experience has been like meeting student recipients over the years.

What was your catalyst for creating a scholarship with Chicago Scholars?

My wife and I have been very lucky that we had people in our lives who made sure that both of us, as well as our children, were able to attend college. Our grandparents and our parents appreciated the importance of higher education and, early on, established college funds to pay for our family’s college costs.  The Generations Scholarship was named with our parents and grandparents in mind and was created to “pay it forward” so that future recipients will have the opportunity to attend college and, hopefully, will someday be able to help  someone else — a son, daughter, niece, grandson —  also attend college.”

“We were lucky to be able to partner with Chicago Scholars early upon creation of the Generations Scholarship.  Not only were they able to help administer the scholarship but they also had access to the college-bound high school students who were most in need of the funds.  Every step of the way, it has been a true partnership that continues to grow.”

What do you wish people knew about starting a scholarship fund?

Our biggest obstacle in starting a scholarship fund was finding the bridge between the college funds and the qualified students.  Choosing the scholarship recipient was only half our battle.  After making the award we needed to make sure that there were supports in place to assure that the recipients had every opportunity to be successful and thrive their first year in school.  We were only able to build our scholarship by partnering with Chicago Scholars to be that bridge.”

Finally, is there a story from a scholarship recipient that you often come back to?

Before awarding a scholarship, we host interviews with each finalist.  Through those interviews we have met some of the most amazing students.  Each one has their own story and each is deserving in their own way of the scholarship funds.  They are tremendous people and we have enjoyed keeping in touch with all of our scholarship winners and celebrating their college successes with them.”

Interested in starting your own scholarship with Chicago Scholars? Reach out to our Director of Scholar Support and Scholarships, Amy Galibois, at Or, want to donate to our larger scholarship funding? Head HERE!