Vienna High School senior surprised with SIUC scholarship

Vienna High School senior Kassidy Taylor just received some news of a lifetime
Published: Nov. 2, 2022 at 5:19 PM CDT
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VIENNA, Ill. (KFVS) - Vienna High School Senior Kassidy Taylor was attending school on Wednesday, November 2 when she and her senior and junior classmates were all sent to the commons area for a special assembly.

Unbeknownst to her, Taylor’s life was about to change for the better.

Teachers and staff gathered with the students with a special guest in attendance.

Southern Illinois University Chancellor Austin Lane personally made the trip down to the school to surprise a student with a full-ride scholarship to SIUC. Lane then announced the scholarship was awarded to Kassidy Taylor.

“When he said my name, I was like ‘no way,’” Taylor said. “I didn’t expect it. I was just excited and shocked.”

Chancellor Lane said they invest in their students in the region and wanted to celebrate with Taylor in this exciting announcement as a future Saluki.

“Our number one goal was to red carpet the southern Illinois region and to really let our students know that we want them to stay here at home and attend Southern Illinois University-Carbondale,” Lane said. “Our job here today was really to celebrate but really make good on that promise and do it in the form of a scholarship.”

Lane explained this scholarship is a full ride with tuition and fees covered.

“For her, it means she doesn’t have to look for loans or any of those kinds of things, or work all the way through college to try to make ends meet. It really gives her an opportunity to focus on her studies,” Lane said.

Taylor said this is a great opportunity to further prepare for her career.

“Overall, just pick something [college major] better for my career that I will enjoy and it will make me more successful other than worrying about what I can afford,” Taylor said.

Also on hand when she was awarded the scholarship were close loved ones who showered her with hugs and support.

“I’m just very thankful that I got this opportunity and I think it’s going to open a lot more doors for me in my future,” Taylor said.

Taylor is set to start her college career in the fall of 2023 at SIUC.