Lily Hirt, who all her life has lived on Loomis Street near Our Lady of the Holy Family Parish on the Near West Side and now is attending the University of Notre Dame in South Bend, IN, has earned a Stamps Family Scholarship.
The scholarship recognizes academic performance, leadership qualities, and community service.
Hirt, who is studying civil and environmental engineering with a minor in philosophy, is in the 18th class of Stamps Scholars, comprising 272 students attending 36 partner colleges and universities across the United States and United Kingdom. Selected from more than 473,000 applicants, Stamps Scholars use their talents to make a positive impact on their communities, locally and globally.
“I consider my neighborhood one of the best teachers I’ve had to date,” Hirt told Gazette Chicago. “I can proudly say that the Near West Side of Chicago, with its history, traditions, and the ever evolving spirit of its people, played a significant role in shaping my journey and aspirations. Witnessing the engineering marvels of this city has motivated me to explore ways to contribute to sustainable and equitable solutions for communities like my own.”
Stamps scholarships help cover undergraduate education and include extra funds scholars can use for academic and professional development such as study abroad, internships, and independent research.
Hirt’s scholarship “Is a full-ride, four-year scholarship with additional funds to use for research or leadership enrichment,” she said.
Stamps Scholars network with an international community of peers and alumni at regional conferences hosted by partner institutions, informal meet-ups, and biennial Stamps Scholars National Convention.
“I am truly impressed by the passion and drive of this group of Stamps Scholars,” said Roe Stamps, founder and chair of the Stamps Scholars Program. “Their deep commitment to making a positive impact on the world is evident, and their intelligence, talent, and creativity are simply extraordinary. I am confident that these remarkable young men and women will not only excel in their academic pursuits but also make significant contributions to their communities. It is an honor to welcome them as Stamps Scholars, and I am excited to see all they will achieve in the coming years.”
Roe Stamps and his late wife, Penny, founded the program. Scholars receive annual awards ranging from $6,000 to $88,400. The program and partner schools evenly share the costs of the award.
“Personally, what makes the Stamps Family Scholarship even more remarkable is its strong ties to Chicago,” Hirt said. “The scholarship’s co-founder, the late Penny Stamps, was born and raised in Chicago. Her father, Roman J. Witt, was a renowned researcher at the Illinois Institute of Technology.
“This scholarship not only empowers individuals but also serves as a catalyst for positive change and impact on numerous lives,” Hirt added.
“I’m absolutely thrilled to have been awarded the Stamps Scholarship,” she continued. “It’s truly the most incredible news I’ve ever received. This scholarship means the world to me because it’s not just about the financial help; it’s a recognition of my potential and the opportunities it opens up. Being part of this network of scholars is like stepping into a world of collaboration, meaningful discussions, and exciting experiences.
“This scholarship is a testament not just to me but to all of my teachers and coaches,” Hirt noted. “Every single last one of them, starting with preschool. I’m eager to honor their belief in me by making the most of this scholarship and striving for excellence in my academic pursuits.”
Find out more at stampsscholars.org.
—William S. Bike