Community Foundation of the Fox River Valley
(630) 896-7800

Aurora East Educational Foundation Education Scholarship Endowment Fund

Established 2015

The Aurora East Educational Foundation Education Scholarship Endowment Fund was created by the Aurora East Educational Foundation.

These awards are available to students graduating from or who have graduated from East Aurora High School.

Eligibility is limited to students who are pursuing undergraduate studies within the field of education at an accredited institution of higher learning on a full-time basis.

The Aurora East Educational Foundation was founded in 1993 to fund educational programs in East Aurora School District 131.

During its history, the foundation has funded scores of programs that have touched the lives of thousands of students throughout the East Aurora School District.


The AEEF would like to recognize and thank the following benefactors whose generosity makes these scholarships possible.  


Note: The following scholarships are housed within the Aurora East Educational Foundation and are not individual funds within the CFFRV Scholarship Program. 


Stephanie Manriquez AEEF Memorial  Scholarship 

The Aurora East Educational Foundation is proud to announce the establishment of the Stephanie Manriquez Memorial Scholarship.

At the age of 25, Stephanie passed away unexpectedly in November of 2020. To honor her memory, her family conducted a GoFundMe campaign in order to establish this Scholarship. The campaign was very successful, and the AEEF will be able to award at least three Scholarships to East Aurora graduates as a result. The funding provided for these Scholarships is unique and the first of this kind, and the Foundation is privileged to honor Stephanie. We are grateful to her family for its generous spirit.

Yara Santillan, Stephanie’s cousin, remembers her as “an honest and caring person who was strong and compassionate, beautiful and powerful, and a guide and life teacher.”

According to her family, one of Stephanie’s aspirations was to give back to the East Aurora community, which saw her grow from a child to a college graduate, and that she found her dream job working for her alma mater, East Aurora High School, just months before her passing. They remember her love for the community, and that she wanted to help others fulfill their potential through education.

Through her work at East Aurora, Stephanie had hoped to encourage and motivate young minds to give back to their community as well. Her family would love to keep her memory, as well as her desire to give back to their community, alive through this memorial Scholarship in her name.

The AEEF is honored to remember this wonderful East Aurora alumna in a most appropriate way, and is very thankful to her family.


Frances and Thomas Strong Aurora East Educational Foundation Education Scholarship 

The Frances and Thomas Strong Education Scholarship has been established to honor a couple who were lifetime East Side residents and community servants. 

Frances Heimsath Strong was a career educator who was born and raised on the East Side of Aurora.  She was a math teacher at Mooseheart before and during World War II, and married her husband as he returned from the service in 1945.  Mrs. Strong raised her family, was very active in her church and its choir and other organizations, and substituted for many years in all of the Dist. 131 schools, much of the time at Simmons Middle School. 

Thomas G. Strong was also born and raised on the East Side, and graduated from East High School in 1932.  He excelled in music in school, playing several brass instruments, and also played viola in string quartets in the area.  He served in World War II from 1941-45, seeing action in North Africa, Sicily, Italy, France and Germany.  He landed at Normandy beach six days after D-Day, and rose to the rank of Captain in the US Army.  Mr. Strong returned to Aurora, finished college, and came back to East High School to teach print shop for several years.  He finished his career as a journeyman printer, and passed away in 1972.   

(630) 896-7800