Entrepreneurial Scholarships

NWILED John D. Cooke, III Memorial Entrepreneurial Scholarship

Since 2018 NWILED has offered the annual entrepreneurial scholarship. On December 8, 2021, the NWILED Board of Directors unanimously voted to rename the annual scholarship in honor and remembrance of the late John D Cooke III who was a founding member of the organization. The NWILED John D. Cooke, III Memorial Entrepreneurial Scholarship is open to all high school seniors in Carroll and Jo Daviess Counties.

Each year, NWILED will offer a total of three scholarships to graduating high school seniors who are entrepreneurial and want to start a business or pursue a career in business. There is one $2,000 first place award and two $1,500 runners up awards. Recipients shall be full-time students in good academic standing in the qualifying school year. This is not a need-based scholarship. Scholarships can be used for start-up costs related to launching a business and or advancing a career in business through education and training.
 
The application window typically opens in February and closes late March with winners announced in May. Year to year, applications are subject to change, so students should be mindful and not use prior year forms. 
 
Past winners have included students connected to Three Sisters Sweet Shoppe in Elizabeth, and Davis Lumber Company in Scales Mound, in addition to a student from Savanna that proposed a sign language business, and a student from the Galena Territory who is developing a hand-crafted artisan doll line. The 2022 winner is connected with Hoof It Goat Treks in Galena, an adventure-based agricultural business.

2023 Application Materials: 

Application Form (posting early 2023)
John D. Cooke, III Biography