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Scholarship Spotlight: Jessica Breugelmans


Have you ever met someone who was a born “connector”? Someone who has mastered the art of bringing ideas, opportunities and people together? Years ago, Jessica Breugelmans’ friend gave her that moniker, and “connector” has defined much of her personal and professional efforts the last several years.

Despite her significant presence in the Geneva education scene – Breugelmans is part of the Geneva Academic Foundation and regularly attends school board meetings – her work with the CFFRV Scholarship Program still stands out. When asked about the most valuable aspect of her Scholarship Committee experience, Breugelmans said, “Reading about the kids”.

She adds that Committee members are fortunate to learn about students who submit applications. “What they’ve accomplished, what they can become, gives me perspective and makes me a better person.”

CFFRV currently administers a combination of over 200 one-year and multi-year scholarship funds and regularly receives over 700 applications per year. The Scholarship Committee is responsible for reviewing each of these applications.

Thanks to dedicated Committee members, students’ applications are given significant time and attention. In this sense, Breugelmans is indeed a “connector” – vying for students’ access to scholarships that could bring dream schools or careers within reach.

“Yes, we make decisions in that room, but more than that, we advocate for those kids because we’re entrusted with their stories,” Breugelmans said.

In a service area that encompasses over a dozen high schools, these stories vary. But Breugelmans mentioned the benefits that accompany applying for a CFFRV scholarship – namely, that students need only complete one application to be considered for hundreds of scholarships. For a high school student with a packed schedule, an application process that saves time and increases chances of an award is invaluable.

What if someone wants to join the Scholarship Committee? “Do it!” Breugelmans said. “It will affect your life and it will affect these kids.”


As a first-generation college student from a low-income family, I was worried about how I was going to pay for books and supplies. This scholarship will allow me to focus more on my studies instead of worrying about how to afford college. I am working to not only create opportunities for myself but to motivate future generations. Thank you so much for helping me along this journey!

Moises J.

Claude & Alice Allen Memorial Scholarship Recipient

…you can always start small, even $25 can make a difference. Remember we can’t take our money with us. Even if it’s just your gift of time. Volunteer and get involved.

Cris Anderson

Cristina & Thomas S. Anderson Endowment Fund | Tom & Cris Anderson Colonial Advisory Fund

There’s no question in my mind that the scholarship I received opened up possibilities.

Marianne Renner

Past Scholarship Recipient & Current Leadership Coach

We chose the Community Foundation because of its reputation. It’s well known, established and we can trust them to do the job for us.

Dick Schindel

Richard and Susan Schindel Scholarship Funds

A community foundation is a donor-driven organization that helps donors custom-design funds that reflect their charitable interests. Through the years, grants from these funds have made a significant impact on our local communities.

Sharon Stredde

President Emeritus

Thank you very much for supporting my college education for these four years. I will never be able to repay you for the opportunity that this scholarship has given to me.

Julia H.

[Renewing Scholarship Recipient] Graduate of Hinkley-Big Rock High School

Community Foundation of the Fox River Valley

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