Jazale Hill and her parents at her eighth-grade graduation. The recipient of a MACCW scholarship, Hill will attend St. Thomas More High School in the fall. (Submitted photo)

Faith meant everything to John and Kathleen Schneider. The couple, who married in 1941, attended daily Mass, had a strong devotion to the rosary, and throughout their 68-year marriage, “were exceptionally generous to those in need,” said their daughter, Mary Jo McCormick.

So, it’s no small responsibility for McCormick and her siblings to choose the beneficiaries of the funds made available through the John and Kathleen Schneider Foundation, which their parents established during their lifetime.

“There are so many valid and deserving charitable organizations,” said McCormick.

But one decision, at least, is simple: supporting the next generation of Catholic students. Every year, the John and Kathleen Schneider Foundation funds the Milwaukee Archdiocesan Council of Catholic Women Scholarship, which provides three $1,500 scholarships to young women who are about to begin their studies at a Catholic high school.

For 2022 recipient Jazale Hill, who will be attending St. Thomas More High School in the fall, the scholarship means “a better opportunity for me to succeed.”

“My family and I aren’t rich, so with this money being awarded, it has taken a small load off the tuition for this school,” said Hill.

The other two recipients of this year’s scholarships were Katelyn Chandek and Kennedy Klafke, both of St. Alphonsus Parish in Greendale. Klafke will also be attending St. Thomas More, and Chandek will be attending Divine Savior Holy Angels High school.

McCormick decided to donate funds from her parents’ foundation in support of the scholarship around 10 years ago.

“My mother was going to be a nun. She vacillated for many months between marriage or the convent. Fortunately, she decided to marry my father,” said McCormick. “As a result, I support women in their pursuit of the convent and higher education. I try to choose causes that would make them both proud.”

MACCW’s mission fits the bill perfectly, she said. Founded in 1920, MACCW is an affiliate of the National Council of Catholic Women and provides Catholic women with “a voice and a place to gather, learn and serve.”

Their members are women from throughout the Archdiocese of Milwaukee, working to bring the vision and priorities of the local bishop to their parishes and organizations. Their annual events include Advent by Candlelight and a May crowning, as well as other workshops, retreats and service opportunities.

Each scholarship applicant must write an essay entitled “What Catholic Education Means to Me.” The essays penned by Chandek, Klafke and Hill were chosen by McCormick from 55 applications received, representing 17 different cities and 40 different churches throughout southeastern Wisconsin.

One line in Hill’s essay jumped off the page when McCormick read it, she said: “When you ask what a Catholic education means to me, I say it means a better chance at a better world, one student at a time.”

A better chance is exactly why Hill, who hopes to pursue architecture and interior design, decided on St. Thomas More for her high school career.

“I chose this school because of new possible opportunities in an environment where I can feel safe,” she said. “This school also provides a great example of following God and serving others, and will help get me ready for college.”

For more information on the Milwaukee Archdiocesan Council of Catholic Women, visit their website at maccw.com.