There are certain times in life when a young person needs a helping hand, a nod, a show of faith from someone outside their immediate family. One of the more challenging times is the transition from the safety net of high school to the world of college.
For a group of young students, including children of Steiner Electric employees, this affirmation came in the way of scholarships from the Steiner Kerman Education Foundation.
For example, Amanda Chapman, daughter of Steiner Electric Will Call sales representative Paul Chapman and graduate of Glenbard East High School, responded to the news of her scholarship with a thank you note.
“Thank you for sponsoring this generous scholarship,” she wrote. “This scholarship will immensely help my financial obligations and help further my higher education … thank you so much for believing in my future at the college of DuPage by awarding me the Steiner Kerman Foundation Scholarship.”
Chapman was one of three winners of scholarships earmarked for children of employees. The other winners included Nicole Cermak, daughter of John Cermak, who works inside sales at the company’s St Charles facility. Nicole graduated from Hampshire High School in May and will be attending Illinois State University in the fall. “I will be studying Business in Accounting as I hope to get my masters in professional accountancy,” she said.
The third winner is Catherine Genevieve Goebel, daughter of Chris Goebel, applications engineer in the Power Systems Division. Goebel is a graduate of Metea High School where she had a 4.0 GPA. She will attend the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, where she will play piccolo in the Marching Illini Band.
The Foundation also has programs geared for students who are not children of employees.
This year, for instance, April Dzik from Hobart (Ind.) High School won a scholarship. The athlete and volunteer at her church and with local community groups will enter Indiana University Northwest (Gary) as a second semester first-year student having taking dual credit classes. She will be studying psychology and elementary education.
Another winner was Marc Clay, a 2017 graduate from Elk Grove High School. Marc will be attending Harper College where he will be studying in the nursing degree program. Nursing became a passion for Marc a couple years ago when an injury put him in the hospital and in contact with medical health professionals. That was a turning point, as he turned away from business, which had been an interest, and toward health care. He has already become a certified nursing assistant (CNA), and is working in the health field while going to to school.
These students have more in common than similar ages and graduation dates. From their applications, it is evident that they embody the respect and initiative that represent the values on which the Foundation was created,says Carol Kerman, president of The
Steiner Kerman Education Foundation.
The Foundation was established in 2007 by Harold Kerman, who was at the time the company’s CEO, and over the last decade it has awarded more than $450,000 in scholarship monies. This includes scholarships awarded to Steiner employee children ($290,000), and scholarships presented to high schools and colleges in the municipalities near Steiner Electric locations as well as the Chicago Electric Association Education Foundation ($160,350). The Fund, which was established from Kerman’s personal holdings and is not funded by company profits, was started “as a way to give back and in appreciation for opportunities given to him,” Carol Kerman says.
In his younger days, Harold Kerman got a hand up from his aunt. She gave the 1937 graduate of Von Steuben High School, a public high school on Chicago’s North Side, money to attend Wright Junior College. This helping hand led to night school at Northwestern University where he graduated in 1941. After graduation, he served in the armed forces during WWII and upon his return he passed the CPA exam in 1946.
“The Steiner Kerman Education Foundation bases scholarships on an individual’s need and goals,” explained Carol Kerman. “Careful consideration is given to the prospects ability to view the world, ‘As if your glass is half full.’
“High School students are in a delicate phase of life,” she added. “The Steiner Kerman Education foundation focuses on fostering positive impact that continues the student’s path to fulfillment.”
For more information on the scholarship program, click here.