WWAC launches scholarship awards

Samantha Ann Illius, Westlake High School senior

Following four years of fundraising, the Westlake-Westshore Arts Council initiated the awarding of scholarships to Westshore graduating seniors planning to pursue studies in art-related fields. Samantha Ann Illius from Westlake High School and Leah Borzak from North Olmsted High School each received a $500 scholarship from the WWAC.

Illius, who earned a 4.6 high school grade point average, will attend Baldwin Wallace University this fall, majoring in creative writing and theater, with a minor in French. In her recommendation of Illius, Westlake High School English teacher Kimberly Sullivan said, “Anything Samantha does, it is to the best of her ability. She never hesitates to do more than what is asked of her.” 

Borzak will pursue the study of visual arts at Kent State University this fall, majoring in art education and studio arts. North Olmsted art teacher Matthew Mohrbach noted Borzak's “high level of commitment, ambition and positive attitude” in her pursuit of her goals. “Leah consistently goes above and beyond the requirement for each project,” he noted in his recommendation.

In creating its Scholarship Fund, the WWAC’s intent is to generate sufficient funds to annually award scholarships to Westshore area graduating seniors, whose interests lie in the arts. Patt Long, WWAC past president and current board member, said the goal is to have a growing fund that will support an increase in the number and size of scholarships.

Activation of its scholarship awards adds to a generous list of gifts the WWAC has provided without charge to the Westshore community in the 33 years since its founding. That list includes: commissioning and installation of public art; sponsorship of free and multi-faceted art programs for all ages; providing prizes for school art shows; supporting programs for children on Presidents Day at Porter Library: establishing the annual COFA Juried Art Show (18th year); and offering the FYI: Opera series (26 years). The WWAC, a completely volunteer organization, accomplishes all of the above and more, through the efforts of individuals who recognize the enrichment of a community benefits all.

Louise Seeholzer

Publicist for Westlake-Westshore Arts Council

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Volume 9, Issue 10, Posted 9:40 AM, 05.16.2017