Foundation Recognizes Winners of its Scholarship for the Trades

The Arlington Heights Memorial Library Foundation hosted a ceremony at the Makerplace this week to present scholarship certificates to the two winners of its new scholarship for the trades, Anthony Corsentino and Jake Nikolai, both 2023 graduates from John Hersey High School. Family, friends, and Dr. Lazaro Lopez, Associate Superintendent of D214, were in attendance. This is the first year the Foundation has offered a scholarship for Arlington Heights students hoping to attend trade school.

“When we first started this endeavor, we were hoping to reach young people using the Makerplace and encourage them to turn their passion for making into a career,” said Lauree Harp, Founder, and Chair of the Foundation. “Both of our winners this year have bright futures in the trades, and we are so happy to support them and be a part of their journey.”

After interning at Keats Manufacturing in the tool and die department room, Corsentino decided to enter the world of manufacturing with an emphasis on welding. The Makerplace Scholarship for the Trades scholarship will help him in his first step towards building a welding business: earning his welding certificate at Harper College.

Corsentino received a $2,500 check and an auto-darkening welding helmet during the awards ceremony.

Nikolai decided to pursue a career in carpentry after taking Practical Architecture and Construction at Hersey. In the class, he helped remodel a house and plans to use his scholarship to attend Associated Builders and Contractors, working towards his journeyman qualification. During the ceremony, Nikolai was awarded the JPM Makerplace Scholarship and presented with a $2,500 check. The Moroney Family presented the award, named after their late son, Jeffrey Patrick Moroney. Nikolai was also given a Paslode cordless nail gun to jumpstart his career.

“We are so excited for our students to be acknowledged by Arlington Heights Memorial Foundation,” said Patty Grow, Associate Principal for Instruction at Hersey High School. “Anthony Corsentino and Jake Nikolai are such talented students with great promise. We believe that both students are instrumental in contributing to our school’s success in our career pathways programs.”

The Foundation, which supports the Arlington Heights Memorial Library and Makerplace, hopes these scholarships will inspire and promote education in the skilled trades. This year, the Foundation offered two $2,500 scholarships, including a scholarship funded by friends and family of the late Arlington Heights resident and maker Jeffrey Moroney. These scholarships were open to Arlington Heights residents 17 to 20 years of age who are interested in pursuing a career in the skilled trades that require advanced training other than a four-year bachelor’s degree, such as plumbing, carpentry, electrical, HVAC, machining, or welding. The Foundation will begin accepting applications for the 2024 scholarship on January 1 st of next year.

For more information on the scholarship and its criteria, visit