McHenry County College (MCC) named Karen Morelli of Lake in the Hills as the recipient of the Fall 2012 Joseph A. Blanco Spirit Award, a $600 gift given to a student with special needs who displays a positive attitude while pursuing a degree or certificate while overcoming a disability.
Morelli, a single mother of three children, began taking GED courses at MCC in spring 2011 and by that summer, she was enrolled in college credit courses. She plans to use her award toward classes at MCC starting in January 2013. She is
interested in becoming a nurse.
“As a tutor, what is so rewarding about working with Karen is that she not only
seeks guidance but she also applies it once it’s offered,” said Ellen Morton,
MCC special needs tutor. “Her attitude is always ‘Live and Learn,’ and that
indeed is what she is doing.”
Joe Blanco founded the award in 2009 as a way to recognize students who inspire
people with their can-do attitude. Blanco passed away last year.
“Karen was among seven deserving nominees for this fall’s award. She exemplifies all the attributes our good friend Joe admired in his students,” said Bev Albright, manager of Special Needs. “We are so proud of her.”