IPRF Professional Scholarship Recipients
"Thank you for supporting my continued education by granting me a generous scholarship to attend the 2019 IPRA Professional Development School. I attended PDS last year as a Year 1 participant. During Year 1, I met new people, including my ‘homeroom’ regent who encouraged me to attend Year 2. She expressed the benefits of attending the school for consecutive years in order to graduate with my ‘class’. I knew that attending consecutively would be a challenge, since my district allocates money to staff on a rotating basis. As a supervisor of staff and an advocate of professional development, I didn’t want to take educational opportunities away from my staff had I not been granted a scholarship this year. By receiving the scholarship, I was able to attend Professional Development School for consecutive years and graduate with my ‘class’!"
"To begin, I want to convey my thanks for the opportunity this committee has provided me. My attendance at the Illinois Park and Recreation Conference was made possible by the Illinois Park and Recreation Foundation. The conference provided a great deal of information that I have now taken back to my district to share. When selecting sessions to attend, I chose topics that were applicable to the position I hold–office manager in the planning and operations department. I typically describe this job as one where I must wear many hats. …
Attending the state conference gave me insight into the specific strategies, programs, and operations that Illinois parks and recreation agencies are instituting; it was a great learning experience. This field is continually having to innovate in order to draw people in to participate or utilize the services and green spaces that are offered. With private industry offering recreational opportunities; there are more options for members of communities making publicly funded entities having to compete for a customer base. While at the same time, there are communities that experience barriers that prohibit equitable access to programming and green space. Thankfully, IPRA opens up a space for districts to learn from those tackling these challenges where they are able to share their stories of successes and failures."
"Thank you to IPRF for supporting me, along with my organization, in this continued education opportunity. It’s greatly appreciated! Participating in the NRPA Director’s School is one of the most rewarding, learning opportunities I imagine a seasoned recreation professional can have. Although among the youngest of participants, I felt reassured that my skills and knowledge hold true to what the “best in the industry” are doing in their local organizations."
"I would like to thank everyone at IPRF for the opportunity to attend the 2020 Supervisor Symposium through a scholarship. This was my second time attending, and it is an event I recommend to all of my peers. In a time where every District is learning how to adapt on the fly, this event went on without a hitch, and without a drop in quality. I was incredibly thrilled to attend sessions that have helped me adapt to a strictly virtual world, as well as sessions that will still prepare me for the long run. The overall feeling throughout the day was that there are some very important positives we can take away from learning to work online and away from the public."
Student Scholarship Recipients
"This scholarship has helped me go to the statewide conference, in which I was able to make so many lasting connections in the field. If I hadn’t won the scholarship, it would have been very difficult for me to attend because of costs. But because I was able to attend, I was taught how to become a leader in the field, what the culture is like in this field, and so many other important things to take with me as I begin to look for summer internship opportunities. Because I was able to attend the conference, I made so many connections and I was offered multiple internships for this upcoming summer, which I need to finish my degree requirements. These connections are ones that I can take with me as I progress through my career. This conference helped me become more comfortable talking with people in the field and asking valuable questions I cannot wait to progress in my career and continue to attend the IAPD/IPRA conference every year.
Thank you again for this scholarship, this opportunity has been a once in a lifetime achievement and I am so happy about what this opportunity has done for me as a future professional in the Parks and Recreation field."
"The student scholarship benefited me greatly. Going to the IPRA conference helped me make connections with many professionals in the field. I attended the Professional Connections event on Thursday January 23rd which was an excellent opportunity for networking with professionals in the field. I was able to talk to those who are currently working in the areas I have interest in working in the future. On Friday, I volunteered in the morning to set up for the All-Conference Awards luncheon and then after volunteering I attended the event. I joined the Itasca park district at their table. I was able to hand out my resume to the professionals sitting at the table with me. They informed me about the internship opportunities they had to offer at Itasca. … Overall, I was able to connect with a large number of professionals at the conference and I was informed about multiple internship opportunities which was my main goal for this conference."