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NIU Rockford Club


David & Diane Graf Rockford Endowed Scholarship

Through the generosity of the alumni of the College of Business and David & Diane Graf, the business leaders of tomorrow are getting a financial boost to assure their educational success.

Under the NIU Rockford Club's direction, scholarships have been awarded since 2005 to both incoming freshman and transfer students who are residents of the greater Rockford area (Boone, Winnebago, Ogle, and Stephenson counties). view all recipients...

Scholarship Forms

2013 Award Recipients

Jesse Laseman

Jesse Laseman

Jesse Laseman was selected as a 2013 David & Diane Graf Rockford Endowed Scholarship recipient based on his academic achievement, demonstrated leadership, and strong community involvement. Jesse is a 2013 graduate from Belvidere North High School where he succeed both inside and outside of the classroom. He completed 9 accelerated classes and 4 advanced placement courses, was an honor roll student, and was a recipient of the High Merit Award. With his leadership abilities Jesse held a number of positions among his peers. He served as treasurer for the National Honor Society, interact club president and both president and vice president of student council. Jesse continued to develop his leadership skills while serving as a student ambassador and a mentor to other students.

With drive and ambition Jesse ran cross country throughout high school, also finding time for participation in Business Professionals of America, 4H, interact club, and his church youth group.

Jesse's work experience began as a youth baseball umpire and later developed in customer service roles at Edwards Apple Orchard and Magic Waters Waterpark. Jesse excelled in his professional roles, shining as one of the youngest employees at Edwards Apple Orchard and obtaining the 2012 Customer Associate of the Year Award at Magic Waters Waterpark.

Jesse has shown pride and service to his community by volunteering for 14 different organizations or programs while in high school.

With Jesse's unwavering work ethic, he plans to pursue a degree in Finance or Business Administration. He would like to work for a large company and have an impact on making important economic decisions.

Megan O'Brien

Megan O'Brien

Megan O'Brien was selected as a 2013 David & Diane Graf Rockford Endowed Scholarship recipient based on her outstanding GPA, extra-curricular involvement, passion and drive.

A class of 2013 graduate from Freeport High School, Megan has a lengthy list of accomplishments during her years there. She served as the class secretary and vice president for student council, was a member of the principal's cabinet, and served as the northwest district student council executive secretary. In addition, Megan participated in many leadership programs including the Rotary Youth Leadership Academy, Millikin University's Summer Leadership Camp and the "Big 'Ol Workshop on Leadership." Megan was a member of the National Honor's Society and active in both volleyball and cheerleading.

Megan served her community by acting as a mentor in the Big Brother Big Sister program. She was also an active participant in Highland Community College's Servant Leadership, as well as sitting on a peer jury. Megan attributes her time in the servant leadership program as opening up her interest to volunteering, and she plans to continue to volunteer her time and talents.

Megan gained valuable employment experience as a crew member at Culver's where she was responsible for providing excellent customer service taking orders, running the cash register, and preparing custard for patrons. Megan also worked at Pierce Athletics, not only gaining additional employment experience, but also honing in on her leadership skills. There she was an assistant coach teaching weekly tumbling and cheerleading classes to children ages 3 through 14.

A focused, thoughtful, and engaged student, Megan plans to pursue a Bachelor of Science in Accountancy and a Master of Accounting Science. Aspiring to earn her CPA certificate, Megan would like to work for a large corporation and work her way up into management.