SDCCW announces scholarship winners

The Springfield Diocesan Council of Catholic Women (SDCCW) has announced the names of three women who were awarded scholarships courtesy of the SDCCW. The recent high school graduates, who were officially recognized at the Women of Distinction Mass celebrated by Bishop Thomas John Paprocki at the Cathedral of the Immaculate Conception in Springfield June 15, each received a $2,000 scholarship. 

The three college-bound women were chosen from 54 applicants from across the diocese. They are Ingrid Bakeman from Decatur, Aleah Higgs from Newton, and Kaitlyn Washburn from Greenville. 

“Competition was very steep this year,” said Shirley Dallmier, scholarship chair. “They have set themselves forward as an example of solid Christian values and provide pride and hope for a shining future not only for their communities but for the entire Catholic Church.” 


Ingrid Bakeman

Ingrid Bakeman, daughter of Tom and Angela Bakeman, is a member of Holy Family Parish in Decatur. She graduated with high honors from Mt.  Zion High School. She distinguished herself in the music arena throughout her years in school. She performs with the Millikin Symphony Orchestra, Decatur Youth Orchestra, and has participated in multiple church and community presentations. She is a generous volunteer in both the church and school settings. She is going to attend Belmont University in Nashville and major in Music Business. 

“I feel God’s presence and guidance in music and plan to be a leader in reshaping the industry, ” Bakeman said, who calls Johann Bach her inspiration. ” I play the notes as they are written, but it is God who makes the music.”


Aleah Higgs

Aleah Higgs is the daughter of Jeff and Julie Higgs of Newton. She is a member of St. Thomas the Apostle Catholic Church and graduated from Newton Community High School. She is a reliable and active member of her parish as a lector, assisting in routine church cleaning, and participating in mission trips.  She has been active in FFA, Student Council, and sports. She is also a recognized barrel racer in the Illinois High School Rodeo Association. She plans to attend Eastern Illinois University and pursue a master’s degree in Speech Pathology and Audiology.  


Kaitlyn Washburn

Kaitlyn Washburn is the daughter of Michael and Dorothy Washburn. She attends St. Lawrence Parish Catholic Church and graduated from BCCU #2 High School there in Greenville. Kaitlyn is a quiet, respectful, and charming young lady. She is a strong leader in both school and church activities. Although not the typical cradle Catholic, she has embraced the faith in her teen years and has become a shining example of faith. She says that “simply believing and putting trust in God, He will lead you to a life of love and service.” She is going to attend the University of Maine at Orono majoring  in Environmental Sciences.