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Gifts in Action
Scholarships support learning and community engagement
As an iSchool student, Thomas Mukonde (MS '16) received the Harold and Rose Marie Ames Scholarship and the Mary Louise Kalfuss Scholarship. “I was very grateful for having been recognized with these scholarships," he said. "The funds helped me complete my studies and engage in other learning opportunities outside of the School."
Mukonde came to Illinois after receiving his bachelor's degree in history from Georgetown University. He chose the iSchool because he found it to be the best fit for his interest in children’s librarianship. At Illinois, his interest broadened to include youth information behavior and marginalized populations. "All my classes were excellent,” he said. “I loved volunteering in the Center for Children’s Books and my practicum at the Champaign Public Library’s Douglass Branch."
Currently, Mukonde is running a nongovernmental operation in Zambia called Lubuto Library Partners. "We have just won a grant to implement a mentoring and scholarship program for adolescent girls and young women and to provide sexual and reproductive health education in our Zambian libraries," he said. "The grant is from the DREAMS (Determined, Resilient, Empowered, AIDS-Free, Mentored, and Safe) initiative, led by the U.S. President’s Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief (PEPFAR)."