Warren “Billy” Cherry Scholarship awardeesSubmitted photo

The Warren “Billy” Cherry Scholarship Fund honored 18 Evanston Township High School graduates at its annual award dinner on April 30. The Fund provides financial assistance to ETHS graduates who wish to pursue an associate, bachelor, or graduate degree in education or youth work. Part of the selection process is to identify and award applicants whose circumstances would otherwise make it difficult to realize their dream to serve others.

Cherry Fund President Robert Reece welcomed a crowd of 155 people to the event. He acknowledged that some of the Cherry Scholarship recipients might be the first in their family to have the opportunity to go to college, some have faced financial challenges, some might be late bloomers,
or some might be the only one in their family to speak English. “But that doesn’t matter,” Mr. Reece said. “What matters is that we want these scholarship recipients to know that the Cherry Scholarship family and the Evanston community believe
in their dreams.”

The scholarship was named in memory of a much loved and respected Evanston educator and community leader. The Fund’s mission is to perpetuate his acceptance of all people, his commitment to the highest standards of educational excellence, and his energetic dedication to enriching the children and institutions of Evanston. The Cherry Scholarship was established in 1993, three years after Warren Cherry’s untimely death.

Twenty-four years later, the Fund continues to fulfill its mission. “We will give out $43,000 tonight in scholarship awards, a 19% increase from last year,” said Mr. Reece, who attributed the Fund’s success to “a dedicated board and a community that cares about us.”

“We want to honor and keep the legacy of Warren ‘Billy’ Cherry, who believed that all of his students could become superstars,” Mr. Reece concluded.

Recipients of 2017 Cherry Scholarships and Book Awards were Jocelyn Becerra, Adrianna Carter, Alexandra Cesar, Jesse Chatz, Denise Clarke, Avianna Dennison, Jessica Garcia, Andrea Guy, Ryan Johnson, Alanté Massie, Jenica Mullins, Nathan Norman, Karen Reynosa, Anamaria Rosales, Dajah Russell, Yuli Salgado, Brezah Wade, and Chyna Wright.

The Cherry Scholarship Fund will celebrate its 25th year in the Evanston community in 2018. A special anniversary celebration has been planned for September 29, 2017, at the Evanston Golf Club.

Heidi Randhava

Heidi Randhava is an award winning reporter who has a deep commitment to community engagement and service. She has written for the Evanston RoundTable since 2016.