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.”