Durbin Announces Summer 2019 Recipient Of The Ed Greelegs Scholarship Program

WASHINGTON – U.S. Senator Dick Durbin (D-IL) today announced Elizabeth Flores, a college senior from Chicago, was the recipient of the Ed Greelegs Scholarship Program for summer 2019.  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 Senator Durbin’s Washington, D.C. office.  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 seven Ed Greelegs scholars, including Elizabeth, since the program’s inception.

“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 in Ed’s name and honor, to carry on his love of politics to the next generation by making the incredible experience of a Washington, D.C. internship possible for any Illinois student interested, no matter their background.  Elizabeth is a talented, inspiring, smart young woman and her future in politics is very bright.”

“I am very grateful for being able to have this opportunity,” Elizabeth said.  “I never would have thought that someone like me, Hispanic and a first generation college student, would be working on human rights cases for staff members, would help translate legislation and constituent letters, and would attend meetings concerning foreign policy that could help people abroad.  I think the most important thing I will take back with me are the concerns of the people in Illinois.  Listening to constituent phone calls taught me how to help my community.  I know now what I need to do back home and for the future.”

A photo of Durbin with Elizabeth Flores is available here.

Elizabeth Flores is from Chicago, Illinois, near the areas of Kelvin Park and Hermosa.  She is a first generation college student attending her fourth year at the University of Illinois at Chicago (UIC), pursuing public policy.  Elizabeth has a passion for human rights, government oversight, and law enforcement.  She hopes to better the lives of low-income individuals, minority groups, and immigrants.  Prior to joining Senator Durbin’s office in Washington D.C., Elizabeth worked with the UIC Police Department as Student Patrol and will serve as a student senator at her university this fall.

In order to be eligible for the Ed Greelegs Scholarship Program, students must be a resident of Illinois or be enrolled in an accredited college or university in Illinois; must demonstrate financial need; must not be receiving outside financial aid for their internship; and must have demonstrated an interest in public service and the legislative process.

Ed Greelegs started working for Durbin in 1990 and served as his chief of staff in the House of Representatives and Senate for a combined 17 years.  Ed was a beloved member of the Capitol Hill community, and made our country better with his caring approach and dedication to public service.

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