Durbin Announces Spring 2021 Recipient of the Ed Greelegs Scholarship Program

WASHINGTON – U.S. Senator Dick Durbin (D-IL) today announced Grace Traylor, a student at The George Washington University from Carlinville, Illinois, as one of three Spring 2021 recipients of the Ed Greelegs Scholarship Program.  This scholarship, open to students from Illinois or those studying in Illinois, is an opportunity for the students to receive financial assistance while obtaining a first-hand experience in one of Senator Durbin’s offices.  The program was created in honor of Durbin’s former Chief of Staff who passed away in March 2017 due to complications with Parkinson’s disease.  There have been 14 Ed Greelegs scholars, including Grace, since the program’s inception. Grace assisted Durbin’s Springfield office operations during her internship.

“Ed knew everybody in Washington by name and everybody knew Ed. From Teddy Kennedy to the elevator operator, and the men and women who cleaned our office and polished the floor.  Even as parts of his memory were failing, his passion for politics never changed.  Ed is at peace now, but his influence remains with the lives he touched,” said Durbin.  “I’m excited to continue this scholarship program – even in the midst of a pandemic where my offices are working from home – in Ed’s name and honor, to carry on his love of politics to the next generation.  Grace is a talented, inspiring, smart young woman and her future in politics is very bright.”

“In short, it’s been incredible. I’ve always believed that the true purpose of government was to help people, and I’ve seen in just a few short months that this office sincerely cares about doing just that. Dozens of people call in everyday looking for help, and I can honestly say this office really goes to bat for them no matter who they are, rich or poor, old or young. Its faith restoring really, and I consider myself very lucky to have been a part of that process,” said Grace.

Originally from Carlinville, IL, Grace studies History and Political Science at The George Washington University in Washington, D.C. She applied for the internship to learn about the legislative process from people who understand the rural and urban divide. Grace’s interests include education policy, watching baseball, playing golf, reading good books, and watching good TV. After she graduates, Grace plans to pursue a Master’s Degree in Education.

Senator Durbin paid tribute to Ed shortly after his passing in March 2017.  Video of his floor speech is available here.