Seven college students in the Diocese of Springfield in Illinois are among those who shared nearly $3,000 in the Father Yunker Student Assistance Fund this academic year. Diocesan recipients include:
- Austin Dierkes, University of Alabama, and Adam Dierkes, Lincoln Land Community College, Springfield; sons of Kathleen and Alec Dierkes of Chatham and members of St. Joseph the Worker Parish;
- Brooke Metzger, Illinois College, and Nicholas Metzger, Illinois State University; parents are Ramona and Michael Metzger of St. Joseph the Worker in Chatham;
- Lydia Hays, MacMurray College, daughter of Karen and Timothy Hays of Our Lady of Lourdes Parish, Decatur;
- Richard Maguire, Ranger College, son of Jane and Rick Maguire, Virden, Sacred Heart Parish; and
- Carissa Sitki, Southern Illinois University Edwardsville, son of Yvonne and Kevin Sitki, Cathedral Parish.
Scholarship recipients must be of Lithuanian ancestry, an active member of church and currently enrolled in an accredited college or university. The assistance fund is administered by the diocesan Foundation for the People from a directive in the estate of Father Stanley O. Yunker who, upon his death, designated a portion to fund college scholarships for children of Lithuanian descent. Students may apply for the scholarship during each of the first four years of college and it is based in-part on the student’s financial need and other pertinent criteria.
The awards were announced by Father Jeff Grant, dean of the Springfield deanery and Brandi Borries, diocesan superintendent of Catholic Schools.