We recently spoke with a wonderful Give Back Scholar named Callie Walsh.

Callie Walsh is a Give Something Back Scholar from Lisle Senior High School, where she is involved in several clubs and organizations. She is the president of the Lisle High School Thespians Troupe as well as the Art Club, and also served as the director for a mental health and drug abuse awareness program called “Operation Snowball.” She said her biggest pastime is volunteering, and she is a teen leader through a local group called “Lisle Teens with Character.”

Like others her age, Callie enjoys hanging out with friends. She also loves to paint, and is currently working on an art portfolio about the future of energy. Her guilty pleasure is Star Trek — in fact, she recently visited the “future birthplace of Captain James T. Kirk” in Riverside, Iowa.

“Education is very important to me and my family, so naturally, I’ve always known I wanted to go to college. What I didn’t know was how I was going to do it. Life was not always kind to my family. When I was in the fifth grade, my mother was diagnosed with cancer. As I was the only other one in the household, I would help her get dressed and do other chores around the house. My mother, being the role model she is, stayed strong, and despite still suffering from chronic illnesses today, she IS cancer-free. In the seventh grade, my father went to jail for driving under the influence, which was very hard for me. I learned that this wasn’t even his first time being incarcerated.”

“I never allowed myself to dream of going to a four-year university because my family never had much money. I told myself I would live at home and go to community college for two years, all dependent on, of course, how much money I could save up. When I got the letter that I was accepted as a Give Something Back scholar, my entire world opened up. I could actually go off to college like my friends; I could stay in a dorm like all the girls do in the movies.”

Callie hopes to attend University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign next year to study agricultural and biological engineering. She would love to study abroad and participate in different types of research and internships.

“University of Illinois has so much to offer me and I could not be more excited to pursue a degree there. After college, I hope to travel and see the world. None of this could be possible without the Give Something Back scholarship. Thank you again, Mr. Carr, for everything. I am so honored to be a Mary Francis Carr award recipient.”


Thank you for sharing your journey with us, Callie. We look forward to seeing your hard work pay off in the years to come!