Redbird Softball Announces New Scholarship Recipient for 2022-2023

NORMAL, Ill. – Senior Chloe Jefferson has been selected as the first recipient of the new Heart of Service Endowed Scholarship for the 2022-23 school year, as announced by the head coach Tina Kramos.

The Heart of Service Endowed Scholarship was established in 2021 by Illinois State Employees Eric and Maria Boerngen. The scholarship will be awarded annually to the Redbird softball student-athlete who best exemplifies a “heart of service” that embraces the culture that Eric and Maria cherish in the Illinois State softball program.

“Chloe is the perfect fit for this Heart of Service scholarship,” Coach Kramos said. “She always uplifts others and her commitment to others is unmatched, especially when it comes to her friendship with Steven.”

Jefferson met Steven in his sophomore year of high school when he came to visit as an eighth grader. The following year, Jefferson and his friends noticed Steven, who has cerebral palsy, sitting alone at lunch, so they decided to sit down with him, and the rest is history.

“Steven became my best friend and had more of an impact on my life than he will ever know,” Jefferson said of their friendship. He helped Jefferson find her passion for occupational therapy which she is currently studying at Illinois State. Going to college was a challenge for both of them, but Jefferson said they still talked on the phone every day, Monday through Friday, and Steven had even become a big fan of Redbird Softball. Last season the team hosted a Cerebral Palsy Awareness Night where Steven was able to enjoy the game and throw the first pitch, and Jefferson was a huge part of that event.

Jefferson also participated in numerous service opportunities such as Team Impact, Operation Christmas Child and Move-In Week during his time with the Redbirds. Last season, she took it upon herself to provide candy to flight attendants on each of the flights the softball team took in the first half of the season. She wanted to show her gratitude to the flight attendants for their hard work and for hosting a large tour party.

“We also want to thank Eric and Maria for their support of Redbird Softball,” Coach Kramos remarked. “We appreciate all they have done and continue to do to support our program and our student-athletes.”

This endowed scholarship is one of 31 available funded by private donors who have taken the opportunity to create a lifelong impact on student-athletes in the State of Illinois. If you want to know more about the Forever State Endowment Society at 309-438-2752. and the Illinois State Redbirds app: Your sources for Illinois State tickets, Weisbecker Athletic Fund giveaways, multimedia, Redbird merchandise, photos and more.

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