Zion & Wisconsin Teens Presented Scholarships at Gurnee Mills

Shoppers can support local students through the purchase of Simon Gift Cards

Above, Zion resident Dylan Brown, right, receiving his “check” for the $500 scholarship from Simon Youth Foundation. – Gurnee Mills photo

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Simon, the property group that owns Gurnee Mills outlet mall in Gurnee presented two scholarships from its youth foundatoin Wednesday, June 7 at the mall.

Simon Youth Foundation (SYF), a national 501(c)(3) nonprofit headquartered in Indianapolis helps at-risk students who are on the verge of dropping out of high school stay in school.

Each year, Simon Youth Scholarships program awards one-time and renewable scholarships to high school students in every community that is home to a Simon Mall. Targeting first-generation college students and those with demonstrated financial need, the Simon Youth Scholarships program furthers the SYF commitment to extending educational opportunities to all students who want to learn, regardless of their circumstances.

The Foundation operates 30 non-traditional high school academies across the country, housed primarily in Simon properties, and also provides a scholarship to one student in every community where there is a Simon property. Since its inception in 1998, Simon Youth Foundation has helped more than 14,000 at-risk students receive a high school diploma, and has awarded more than $16 million in scholarships.

This year, Gurnee Mills presented two recipients with scholarships. Dylan Brown, from New Tech High at Zion- Benton East, in Zion received a $500 scholarship. Brown plans to attend Purdue University this fall.

Destiny Schmidt, from Big Foot High School in Walworth, Wisc., received a $1,500 scholarship. She will attend Iowa State University this fall.

Destiny Schmidt of Walworth, Wisc. and her check for a $1,500 scholarship from SYF.

“Simon Youth Foundation is a national organization, but we can feel the benefit of its efforts right here at home,” said Elizabeth Striegel, director of business development at Gurnee Mills. “We are proud to invite our shoppers to join us in supporting this incredible organization.”

Gurnee Mills is now offering community members the opportunity to support local students through the purchase of Simon Gift Cards. One dollar from every SYF Simon Visa gift card purchase will support scholarship and graduation programs in the community. These eye-catching cards are the perfect gift for every graduate on your list this spring.

“Simon Youth Foundation believes that every student deserves the support necessary to earn their high school diploma, and that financial reasons should never be the reason preventing a student from pursuing their dreams,” said Dr. J. Michael Durnil, president and CEO of SYF.

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