From the Register-Mail:
The first-class education Nicole Chase of Galesburg received for free helped her get a leg up in life after graduation, thanks to the George Washington Gale Scholars program.
Chase, who received a degree in elementary education from Knox College in December, was one of just a few Gale Scholars from her class of 14 who entered the program following eighth grade to finish at Knox. One of the recent graduates was her best friend, Ashley Shane, with whom Chase had nearly every class all through college.
“When you start with 14 and two walk across the stage and we happen to be best friends,” she said, “it’s just such a big feeling of accomplishment.”
The Gale Scholars program began in 1996 as a cooperative agreement among Galesburg District 205, Carl Sandburg College and Knox College to provide a college education to first-generation college students who otherwise may not be able to afford it.
Each year, up to 15 eighth-graders are selected for the program, which requires that participants attend meetings and development activities through their four years at Galesburg High School.