In 2001 the Illinois Telecommunications Association created a charitable foundation with a goal to improve the delivery of education through the use of telecommunications technology and to assist Illinoisans in obtaining advanced degrees in telecommunications technology. Specifically, the ITA Foundation offers the Jack Tharp Scholarship available to students attending the telecommunications technology program at Lincoln Trail College.

Each year monies donated to the Foundation provide full scholarships to qualified students in the Broadband Telecom program at LTC. Each scholarship is for $2,500 and covers the cost of a year's tuition, books and supplies and is awarded every July. The scholarships recipients are chosen based on academic performance, financial need, letters of recommendation, submission of a written application and personal interview.

There are several ways in which monies are received by the Foundation for scholarship purposes:

  1. A portion of each golfer's fee to participate in the golf tournaments at the ITA Annual Convention and the Fall Vendors' Showcase is donated directly to the Scholarship Fund.
  2. Member companies of the ITA may make direct donations to the Scholarship Fund.
  3. Individuals may make donations to the Scholarship Fund in honor or memory of an individual.
  4. Other fund raising activities at the Annual Convention and Vendors' Showcase events provide additional monies for the Scholarship Fund.
  5. Category III member companies may choose to contribute a portion of their sales to Illinois telecommunications companies.

Anyone interested in making a donation to the ITA Foundation for the granting of scholarships should contact the ITA at 217-572-1262 or by email at [email protected]. All donations are tax deductible.