North Central College - Naperville, IL

Mironda K. Heston Scholarship

Mironda K. Heston

The Mironda K. Heston scholarship is awarded annually in an amount up $2,500.00 to one or more North Central College students, providing funding for recipients to work in a human rights and service capacity at home or abroad. The scholarship honors Mironda Heston, a 2002 graduate of the College, who died from an illness contracted in Haiti while working to improve health care delivery to people with great need. This scholarship is awarded to the student who best encompasses the spirit of humanitarianism that was exemplified by Mironda and in doing so, remembers Mironda by displaying a similar enthusiasm for humanitarianism.

Scholarship Details

  • North Central College upperclass students of all majors are eligible.
  • Scholarship funds may be used for travel and program related expenses including, airfare, transportation, lodging, meals, necessary supplies for the service work and/or program fees.
  • The scholarship is awarded in the Winter term. Thus, student’s typically embark on and complete their project over the following summer. Spring break projects may also be appropriate.
  • Recipients must provide a written summary of their efforts upon completion of the funded work and serve as presenter(s) of the scholarship in successive years.
  • Fall Deadline: October 1; Winter Deadline: March 13

One NCC Student's Life-long Commitment to Leadership, Ethics and Values: The Story of Mironda Heston

Mironda Heston grew up in the small town of Mineral, IL. In high school, Mironda made what would prove to be a life-changing decision when she joined her mother on a service trip to Haiti. Mironda was greatly affected by the poverty, living conditions and community needs of Haiti, and at the same time, fell in love with the culture and the people she met.

Later, Mironda attended college at North Central College in Naperville, IL. Here, Mironda double-majored in Sociology and Religious Studies; she minored in Community Conflict Resolution. In her junior year, Mironda applied for a Richter Independent Study Fellowship that provided her with funds to return to Haiti. Her self-directed mission was to conduct case-study research on the positive and negative effects of a non-governmental organization on a developing nation. Mironda realized that in order to make a significant impact, she would have to understand the problems in this nation, their causes and their potential solutions.

While Mironda pursued her master's degree in Sustainable International Development at Brandeis University, she completed an internship at Mouvman Peyizan Papay, (MPP) Haiti, the largest, oldest peasant association in the country. After graduation and at the first sign of peace, Mironda returned to Haiti and was hired at MPP.
Mironda was constantly working to better understand how to help Haitian women recognize the importance of their role in society. She spent her days teaching Haitian women the life skills they needed to strengthen and support their community. In addition to working directly with these women, she also devoted her energy to grant writing, which enabled the opening of a medical clinic with a reproductive health program in Papaye. This goal was achieved in late summer 2004.

In September 2004, Mironda contracted dengue fever, a mosquito-borne illness. For most, this illness lasts about 2 weeks with flu-like symptoms. However, for some, including Mironda, it can take on a more severe form that affects the immune system greatly. Mironda became very ill and was life-flighted home to Loyola University Medical Center. On September 21, 2004, at age 24, Mironda lost her fight with this illness.

Mironda had a vision for a lifetime of service, the goal of each day to make the world a better place. We believe that, with her memory, the fulfillment of her dreams and her work must continue through others. Mironda's passion for service began with a single opportunity to join her mother in service, to visit a place unlike her home, to help others in need. We wish to create possibilities like this for others, to plant seeds in the hearts of willing humanitarians that will grow into a lifetime of devotion to those in need.

To meet this goal, we have created the Mironda K. Heston Scholarship for Public Service. For more information about this scholarship, please contact the Office of Financial Aid at (630) 637-5600.

Past Recipients and Projects

2009-2010 Recipient, Anne Adamson: served in Senegal, Africa, educating and providing medial and preventative care for malaria prevention.

2008-2009 Recipient, Casey Graham: created two music rooms for centers in Kenya to provide an outlet for creative freedom and growth in musical knowledge.

2007-2008 Recipient, Daniel Tice: traveled to southwestern Ghana to deliver volunteer medical services to the poor through an organization called Projects Abroad.

 2006-2007 Recipient, Kim Brook: developed sports programs in several local public and private elementary schools and the community center in Macha, Zambia.

 2005-2006 Recipient, Cara Jacobs: traveled to San Miguel, Mexico to assemble a complete set of library materials, construct the actual physical library, create a comprehensive children's literacy program and train volunteers.