Ryan Stivers receives prestigious national scholarship

Ryan Stivers ’14 was one of only 60 students nationwide to be awarded a 2012 Jack Kent Cooke Scholarship.  Stivers was selected from a pool of nearly 800 students who were nominated for the honor.

The Jack Kent Cooke Foundation’s Undergraduate Transfer Scholarship enables the best community college students in the nation, who also have financial need, to complete their bachelor’s degrees at some of the top four-year colleges and universities. The selection criteria include achievement and academic ability, financial need, desire to engage in and contribute to the world, self-confidence, and resilience. 

Stivers transferred to Lake Forest College from the College of Lake County (CLC).  “I chose Lake Forest College because it embodied everything I was looking for in a campus environment. Lake Forest combines the academic rigor of a top ten school while also providing a discussion friendly, small class atmosphere,” says Stivers. “The education program at Lake Forest College is set up in an exceptionally unique way that allows students to engage in significantly more hands-on experiences than your average college or university.”  

Stivers has a passion for education but that wasn’t always the case. A high school dropout, he admits he seemed to be heading down a one-way street the wrong way. Told by many he was a failure, Stivers one day looked himself in the mirror and set out to prove his naysayers wrong. He quickly earned his GED with top scores, enrolled in CLC, and three years later, as graduation approached, his transcript showed a perfect 4.0 grade point average along with various leadership positions, honors and awards, and service commitments in his community.  

“I was truly inspired by my English teacher at CLC, Tamara Wolff.  She is one of those exceptional people who sees the potential in others,” says Stivers. “As someone who wants to become a teacher I understand the importance of having brilliant educators in your life who genuinely want you to succeed. At Lake Forest College, I feel so fortunate because I am being taught by so many great professors that are just like that.”

Stivers is majoring in education and history.