MANITOWOC, Wis. -- Alexandra "Alexine" Siwy of Gurnee, Illinois was chosen as the 2018 recipient of the Silver Lake College of the Holy Family Mother Generose Cahill Honors Scholarship.
The prestigious, full-tuition scholarship is named for the first president of the college, which was founded and continues to be sponsored by the Franciscan Sisters of Christian Charity.
The scholarship is awarded to the top freshman student who participates in the Mother Generose Cahill Scholarship Competition, after a thorough review of the candidate’s academic credentials, written essay and faculty interview. The competition was held Sunday, Feb. 17.
“I was astonished, super excited and just really overjoyed that I get to attend such a great school that has everything I need,” Siwy said of the honor. “When I got this scholarship, I knew this is where I was meant to be.”
Siwy will be starting classes at Silver Lake College in fall 2018, with plans to double-major in theology and business administration.
“This is a generous opportunity from the Franciscan Sisters of Christian Charity,” said Jamie Grant, dean of enrollment management. “We are thrilled to have a student as tremendous as Alexine attending Silver Lake College of the Holy Family next year.”
An alumnus of the college inspired Siwy to take the path she’s following.
“I was looking for a ministry for teens within the church,” she said. “About a year ago, we moved to Gurnee and I found that at my church parish.”
Her youth minister is Jonathan Blevins, who graduated from Silver Lake College of the Holy Family in 2010 with a Bachelor of Arts degree in theology and theological studies. He is director of catechesis and evangelization at St. Paul the Apostle Parish in Gurnee.
“I want to be just like him,” Siwy said. “I plan to do exactly what he is doing, coming back to my parish and working with him. Right now, I’m a life teen missionary and I just love it. I’m also social media manager at my parish.”
Siwy lives with her parents, Diana and Robert Siwy, and has one older brother. She will graduate from Warren Township High School in May.
Her parents are originally from Poland, and Siwy is fortunate to not only speak the language, but to be able to visit her parents’ homeland. Some of the small Polish villages have no phone service or Wi-Fi.
“It’s cool to be completely isolated and experience a different culture without the influence of the media,” she said. “I found I’ve grown more empathetic with people. I’ve been able to identify my values without social media. I’ve learned more about myself, my family and the people I get to spend time with, and how vital that time is.”
Siwy also speaks Spanish and has been active in numerous school and community activities, including Rotary, Big Brothers Big Sisters, St. Jude Fundraisers Club, her high school newspaper, National Honor Society, and Future Business Leaders of America.
She looks forward to the start of classes in fall.
“Silver Lake College has a lot of gifts for me, and I have a lot of gifts to share with the college and the community, and hope to use these gifts to help others in any way I can,” she said.
Additional top college-sponsored scholarship winners for the incoming freshman class include:
- Carissa Dekanich of Sheboygan was awarded the Sister Orestes Kohlbeck Honors Scholarship.
- Camie McCue and Carlye Burk, both of Manitowoc, were awarded the Founder’s Honors Scholarship.
- Nathan Budde of De Pere and Rebecca Schaefer of Milwaukee were awarded the Trustees Honors Scholarship.