Meet the Warren A. Sill Fund’s 2016-2017 Student Academic Scholarship Recipient: Amanda Monarchino

The Warren A. Sill Fund Board of Directors is pleased to announce Amanda Monarchino as the recipient of our 2016-2017 student academic scholarship at Kent State University.

Amanda, entering her senior year at Kent State, is enrolled in the Middle Childhood Education program. She is also the founder and president of the Kent State Explorers, an outdoor pursuit group for Kent State students.

This summer, Amanda has been working as a teaching fellow with Breakthrough Collaborative in Minneapolis, Minnesota teaching eighth grade science classes to students looking for academic advancement during the summer break.

Amanda’s favorite quote on education is, “Students don’t care how much you know, until they know how much you care.” She hopes to show her students that education is not only a way to do well in school, but also a means to navigate and contribute to the world.

Beginning this year, in conjunction with the Warren A. Sill Fund’s pilot project with the Cleveland Metropolitan School District (CMSD) and the Children's Museum of Cleveland (CMC), the WASF scholarship recipient will be volunteering in pre-K classrooms during CMC’s enrichment programming. The WASF hopes such collaborations will serve as a bridge that benefits both scholarship recipients and pre-K classrooms.

While not in the classroom, Amanda a self-described “adventure-lover” enjoys backpacking, rock-climbing, reading and long-distance running. She has conveyed her excitement to bring her talents to help the Warren A. Sill Fund achieve their goals this year.

We are happy to welcome Amanda to the Warren A. Sill Fund family!

The Warren A. Sill Fund Invests in Early Childhood Education

In 2016, The Warren A. Sill Fund will embark on an early education pilot program in partnership with the Cleveland Metropolitan School District (CMSD) and the Children's Museum of Cleveland (CMC).

An extension of the Fund's mission to support innovative education initiatives in Northeast Ohio, the program will provide STEM-based extra-classroom programming to pre-kindergarten students at Euclid Park Elementary School. Beginning in August, the Museum's educators will visit the pre-k classroom at Euclid Park five times throughout the school year.

The students, all of whom come from economically disadvantaged homes, will receive hour-long sessions featuring creative and engaging curriculum designed to spur a life-long interest in learning. The program is the first of its kind for both CMSD and CMC.

The WASF Board believes that education investments are best made early in a child's school career and we are thrilled to help deliver this extraordinary opportunity to a deserving group of young students.

Board of Directors Profiles: Joel Faulkner

Continuing in our series of Warren A. Sill Fund Board of Directors profiles is Joel Faulkner, a health and physical education teacher and event co-chair of Spring Out of Hibernation 2016. Joel hopes to see you at this year's event on April 9th, so buy your tickets now!

How would you characterize your work with The Warren A. Sill Fund?

I am very grateful to be a part of such a unique and energetic group of young professionals working with The Warren A. Sill Fund. As an educator I have a passion for helping others and I believe it is important to help students access quality educational experiences. As a board member I have put myself in a position to use my strengths in planning and organization to benefit the WASF. In addition to education, I have 18 years of experience working in the food and beverage service industry where I have learned a lot about planning for events similar to our annual fundraiser, Spring out of Hibernation.  I often find myself leveraging knowledge and skills from my service experience when coordinating our event.

How do you foresee The WASF expanding its impact both with Kent State students and pre-K students?

I really love how the Fund has evolved and that we now support pre-K students in addition to collegiate level education. I work with students at the pre-K level daily and see both the need and value in education at this age when so much growth and development are taking place. Having cultural experiences during these formative years in children’s lives are valuable opportunities that will help create authentic real world learning experiences for Cleveland’s youth.

Warren A. Sill Fund Board Member Joel Faulkner at  Spring out of Hibernation  2015.

Warren A. Sill Fund Board Member Joel Faulkner at Spring out of Hibernation 2015.

I can relate to having large expenses both during my undergrad and graduate collegiate experiences. Any opportunity to help subsidize hard working collegiate students with drive to help achieve their academic and life goals is a win! 

What sets the WASF apart from other scholarship opportunities?

From the birth of the WASF I have always been a huge fan of our collegiate scholarship selection process given that we do not require applicants to have a certain GPA or evaluate applicants based solely on academic rigor and achievements. We select candidates who show drive, passion for learning, teaching, and in some cases display values that Warren would appreciate. This allows for a diverse group of applicants and even those who may have made a mistake or two along the way to have the opportunity to show off their strengths and receive some monetary assistance to facilitate their academic ambition.

As a Board Member, what achievement are you most proud of over the past three years?

I am so happy to see the board expand and reach out to other networks as we grow. The first year at the event I remember thinking how nice it is to see all of Warren’s friends come to support the Fund in his honor. Now, as I look at our event registration list, I see networks of friends, many of those who never had the opportunity to meet Warren yet care about helping provide education opportunities for those in need. It is very special to see the growth and support from all.

What do you do, professionally? How do you like to spend your free time?

I am currently a health and physical education teacher at a small day school just outside of Cleveland where I spend a lot of time working with students grades preK - 8th grade. I also bartend 1-2 days a week at a local beer store and Whiskey bar which has become more of a hobby than a job. When not at school I enjoy traveling, snowboarding, cooking and spending quality time with friends and family.

Board of Directors Profiles: Tyler Allchin, Chairman

The Warren A. Sill Fund takes pride in our relationships with the donors, sponsors, students, family, and friends that support our mission. In order that you better know our Board of Directors, the WASF blog will feature a series of Board of Director profiles, beginning with our esteemed Chairman, Tyler Allchin. Stay tuned for more, and be sure to say HI when you see us at #SpringOut2016!

What inspired you to create the Warren A. Sill Fund?

After Warren’s passing there was a groundswell of positive sentiment that needed an outlet. A non-profit organization dedicated to education, friendship, and personal growth became a natural extension of his life.  What started as a coping mechanism has matured into something far more valuable.

What kind of work does WASF do?

To date, WASF has donated over $5,000 to worthy students at Kent State University. Because Warren was such a singular personality, the Board was consistently pushed to find personalities that match our mission of education and friendship. Beginning in Fall 2016, WASF will roll-out an innovative pilot project with the Cleveland Metropolitan School District and the Children’s Museum of Cleveland that will provide quality extra-classroom experiences to 20 underprivileged pre-kindergarten students at Euclid Park Elementary School.

What sets WASF apart from other scholarship opportunities?

The WASF’s scholarship components are unique in that our Board is actively engaged with the recipients throughout their careers at KSU. We see our recipients as an extension of Warren and our greater WASF Family. It is our hope that we can both tangibly (financial support) and intangibly (relationships) help propel them to reach their dreams. It is more than a check and our recipients have responded as such.

Tyler Allchin with his mother, father, and sister.

Tyler Allchin with his mother, father, and sister.

As Chairman, what achievement are you most proud of over the past three years?

The Fund’s greatest achievement lies in its ability to dream beyond the tragedy that was Warren’s passing. Whereas many groups and families would have viewed the event as an unfortunate last chapter, this team was able to see over the horizon and coalesce around a truly inspiring mission. Our donors have been terrific and I feel most prideful when I see them at our annual event.

How do you see the WASF expanding its impact both in the Kent State and Northeast Ohio communities?

WASF has so many dynamic team members involved that growth and increased impact was inevitable. The pilot project and a potential sponsorship of a film at the Cleveland International Film Festival are ways WASF is growing in 2016.

What do you do, professionally? How do you like to spend your free time?

I am currently Government Affairs Council at G2G Consulting, a boutique government relations and lobbying firm specializing in the life sciences.  I enjoy reading, movies, and large meals on Sundays. When not at work, I try to spend as much time with my family and traveling.