Hendricks Family Foundation

Overview & Intent

The Experience Fellowship will provide up to $2,500 to empower motivated youth to follow their passions.  It is developed with an acknowledgement that the right opportunity at the right time can have a profound impact.


The Experience Fellowship targets those youth who may not be able to pursue their identified interests without fellowship support.

Eligible applicants will be Beloit residents, aged 11-19 who have identified an opportunity and/or been accepted to a program offering a meaningful growth experience. Applicants must be actively engaged with a mentor or supportive adult and proposed fellowship activities must be consistent with Hendricks Family Foundation values.

Hendricks Family Foundation Values

We will adhere to the conservative principles and example of our founders, Ken and Diane Hendricks, in pursuing our goals.

  • We believe that every person has within themselves the ability to do great things.
  • We believe in individual responsibility and freedom, self-reliance, strong families and strong communities.
  • We embrace taking risks and believe in the entrepreneurial spirit that built and sustains ABC Supply and this country we love.
  • We believe education is the key path to opportunity and believe every child deserves access to strong and innovative schools, experiential learning and enrichment opportunities, career and technical education and, robust career path planning.
  • We believe citizens should be given room to solve problems effectively on their own and believe that families, churches, schools, neighborhoods, and other voluntary organizations are most able and likely to change individual behaviors and transform individual lives.

Fellowship Activities

Eligible fellowship activities may be education or career-focused programs, civic and/or leadership opportunities, mission/volunteer activities, artistic and creative endeavors, or athletics.  Programs suitable for Fellowship awards will achieve the following objectives.

Allow Fellows to explore or strengthen a self-declared area of interest.

Sponsors and supportive adults are encouraged to offer guidance in the selection process, however are encouraged to use strategies that foster and support independent choice.

Structured to encourage curiosity and healthy risk-taking.

Adolescent brain research demonstrates the benefit to young people of having safe opportunities to take risks.  There are a wide range of ‘risks’ that challenge youth to safely move outside their comfort zone.

Increase engagement with positive adults.

Fellowship activities must provide high quality engagement with responsible adults.

Stretch capabilities and build skills.

We want to encourage potential Fellows to select opportunities that move them beyond their current capabilities.  Think achievable, stretch goals.

Application & Approval Process

Fellowship Applications

    • Interested candidates will apply by submitting a 1-2 page letter, explaining:
      1. The selected activity
      2. Why they are interested
      3. What they think they will gain from the experience. Fellow candidates are encouraged to submit a video, not to exceed 5 minutes, in lieu of the written application as a part of the consideration process.
    • The Fellowship limit for any one individual is $2,500. In some circumstances, an applicant could be awarded additional fellowships in subsequent years.
    • Fellows will be asked to provide the total costs of programming. If costs exceed the Fellowship award, Fellows must demonstrate they have resources to cover all costs prior to the Fellowship being paid.
    • Parental permission for participation in the selected program is required.
    • Fellowship applications will be accepted online, at any time, through the Stateline Community Foundation.
    • Applications will be reviewed by a selection committee. Fellows should anticipate 30 to 60 days for award decisions.

Sponsor Recommendation and Responsibilities

    • The application must include a letter of recommendation, submitted by an adult sponsor (non-family member) who has committed to supporting the fellow through an advising, teaching or mentoring role. The sponsor must be a volunteer or staff member of a local not-for-profit organization that is willing to accept the Fellowship payment on behalf of the Fellow and support the Fellow in managing program enrollment and coordination.
    • Sponsors must provide confirmation of fellow acceptance into the requested program and informally verify financial need.

Fellowship Award Payments

    • No Fellowship payments will be made directly to an individual or family.
    • Fellows must be supported by a tax exempt, youth service organization who will be the recipient of the funds and work with the Fellow, supporting them in successfully completing their program.
    • Fellows may not request support for activities provided by the sponsor organization.

Program Follow-up

  • All Fellows are required to submit a final report within 45 days of completion of the fellowship activity. The report should be 1-2 pages and cover:

    1. What the Fellow gained from the experience
    2. Any challenges or accomplishments
    3. How the experience may impact future plans and/or choices

    Fellow candidates are encouraged to submit a video, not to exceed 7 minutes, in lieu of a written report.

The Experience Fellowship is an adapted replication of a successful model that has been provided by the Eva Gunther Foundation . The Eva Foundation’s work is inspired by the life of Eva Gunther, who was killed by a drunk driver at the age of 12 ½.

Her family established the Foundation to remember Eva’s remarkable strengths and to allow other girls to have experiences similar to those Eva had. The Hendricks Family Foundation would like to thank the Eva Foundation team, particularly Eva’s father, Mark Gunther, for sharing their work and supporting our replication.