EDWARDSVILLE - The Illinois Federation of Business Women (IFBW) Metro East awarded the Lena Stanley Scholarship to several local students in the Metro-East area. A total of five scholarships in the amount of $1,000 each were awarded to young women in the Edwardsville School District who met certain criteria of academic excellence.

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The scholarship winners included previous scholarship recipient Olivia Mullosi, as well as new recipients Olivia Jackson from Father-McGivney High School and Josephine “Josie” Cleveland-O’Day, Emilie Fry and Abigail Law, all from Edwardsville High School.

Carol Frisse, a secretary with IFBW-Metro East, said scholarship recipients must be in the top 25% of their graduating class, agree to attend a college or university after graduation and reside within the Edwardsville school district area. Frisse said it was difficult to narrow down this year’s list of applicants.

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“The applicants were so great, it was hard to select from, so that’s why we gave out so many,” Frisse said. “Today’s kids are so much smarter than when I was in school.”

Frisse said the Lena Stanley Scholarship is named after the first female manager of Woolworth’s Store in Edwardsville. Back in Stanley’s time, Frisse said it was a big deal for a woman to be the manager of a major store and Stanley always made sure to help the women she encountered, something Frisse’s organization also helps to accomplish.

“We are women helping women with networking, and we do a lot of political stuff like equal pay,” Frisse said. “The national organization or even the state organization, they will send lobbyists to the political area that needs the most help - like if you need to lobby for equal pay, you would probably take that up to Springfield and go from there.”

Frisse said in addition to the IFBW-Metro East’s political work, the organization has offered scholarships like the Lena Stanley Scholarship “for a number of years,” having earned the funds through fundraising events like golf scrambles and silent auctions. In addition to the Lena Stanley Scholarship for students, Frisse said the organization also offers a $1,000 Community Scholarship, which is also available to people who live and/or work within the Edwardsville School District.

Frisse said applications for these scholarships typically go out in early April, depending on when school gets out. For more information about these scholarships or about the IFBW-Metro East, visit the organization’s Facebook page.

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