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RACINE — Eleven graduates from area high schools recently received scholarship awards totaling $22,000 from the Racine Founders Rotary Club, demonstrating the club’s commitment and encouragement of Racine’s youth.

Dennis J. Barry STRIVE Scholarships are awarded annually by the club in memory of Dennis Barry, a long-standing and energized Rotarian. Winners display many positive attributes including “Service above Self,” the Rotary International motto coined by founder Paul P. Harris who was born in Racine.

“This scholarship is designed to be unique among scholarships,” said Rotarian Ashley Staeck, who chairs the committee. “It’s intended for students who began their high school career with grades that did not reflect their potential but by their senior year have shown significant improvement in their academic ability.”

This year’s scholarship winners include:

  • Annika Speener, a graduate of Walden III High School, will attend the University of Minnesota-Twin Cities
  • Connor Sandkuhler, a graduate of JI Case High School, will attend the University of Wisconsin-Madison
  • Davion Robinson, who graduated from JI Case High School, will attend Howard University
  • Ephraim Slamka, a graduate of Walden III High School, will attend Caltech
  • Hayden Frank, a graduate of Union Grove High School, will attend UW-Platteville
  • Rabeka Liberto, a graduate of Burlington High School, will attend UW-Platteville
  • TaLanda Rogers, a graduate of JI Case High School, will attend Carthage College
  • Dontaveon Echoles, a graduate of Washington Park High School, will attend UW-Parkside
  • Grace Schmitz, a graduate of JI Case High School, will attend Marquette University
  • Eric Ibarra, a graduate of Racine Lutheran High School, will attend Concordia University
  • Alexis Hrouda, who attended St. Catherine’s High School, will attend UW-Milwaukee.
Winners of the 2023 Dennis J. Barry Strive Scholarships were honored by the Racine Founders Rotary Club during the club’s meeting on May 26 at the Racine Country Club. Scholarship committee chair Ashley Staeck (right, front) presented $2,000 scholarship certificates to (front, from left): Eric Ibarra (Racine Lutheran High School), TaLanda Rogers (JI Case High School), Alexis Hrouda (St. Catherine’s High School), Davion Robinson (JI Case High School), Connor Sandkuhler (JI Case High School), Grace Schmitz (JI Case High School), Rabeka Liberto (Burlington High School), Annika Speener (Walden III High School), Ephraim Slamka (Walden III High School). Not pictured are Hayden Frank (Union Grove High School) and Dontaveon Echoles (Park High School). Credit: Racine Founders Rotary Club

The Dennis Barry STRIVE Scholarship Golf Classic funds the scholarships, which is scheduled for Friday, Sept. 15 at Ives Grove Golf Course.

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