News Release


For most high school seniors pondering their options for college, financial aid is the biggest concern. Kristen Thomas and Steffany Valdes, both of Chicago, can erase that concern from their list.

Thomas and Valdes are recipients of the Greater Chicago Christian Leadership Scholarship, awarded by Trinity Christian College. The four-year renewable grant, which fully covers tuition costs, is given to two minority students each year.

“When I found out I won the scholarship, I let out a couple of screams, did a little jig, and said thank you Lord,” said Thomas, who will receive her diploma from Luther South High School. “I believed that if Trinity was where He wanted me to be, He would make a way for me to be there.”

Valdes will receive her diploma from John F. Kennedy High School.

“I was so happy I was crying,” she said on learning of her scholarship. “I was in shock. It was one of the most amazing moments of my life. It’s hard to put into words.”

Both scholarship recipients made a lasting impression on the College’s admissions personnel.

“The students who have received these awards in the past have been of high caliber,” said Jeremy Klyn, director of admissions. “Kristen and Steffany are no different. They have the characteristics that will enhance our student body and will be fine citizens in the Trinity community.”

The Greater Chicago Christian Leadership Scholarship recognizes minority high school students who have demonstrated academic excellence, leadership and Christian commitment. Each candidate, in addition to having been accepted as a freshman, must live in the metropolitan Chicago area, possess a grade point average of 3.5 or higher, rank in the top 10 percent of the high school’s graduating class, and exhibit active involvement in church and community initiatives. The winners must maintain at least a 3.0 GPA, be involved in campus leadership, and live on campus to renew the scholarship.

Last year’s GCCLS winners were Marisol Miron ’10 of Chicago, Illinois, and Brandie Richardson ’10 of Carpentersville, Illinois. Miron is pursuing a Spanish education major. Richardson is working toward a double major of art and business.

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