Harper College

Realizing Dreams: Jori Giesey and Donna Penkava Grzegorek

Learn more about this year's Realizing Dreams honorees by visiting harpercollege.edu/realizingdreams.


Behind every scholarship recipient is a dream. A dream of a new career. A dream of more earning potential. A dream of a better life for their family.

Behind every scholarship donation is a story. A story of honoring or paying tribute to a loved one. A story of a mission that is important to support. A story of why it is important to invest in a student’s dreams.

Meet Jori Giesey, Dental Hygiene Endowed Scholarship Recipient, and the donor who helped her realize her dreams, Donna Penkava Grzegorek, Founding Donor and Distinguished Alumni Recipient, 2011. 

Jori Giesey 


"I love helping people and can't wait to continue helping people through my future career as a dental hygienist."

I had to work two part time jobs to help pay for school. When I started the Dental Hygiene program, I was not able to work as much due to the intense workload. The Donna Penkava Grzegorek Dental Hygiene Endowed Scholarship helped me financially make ends meet, and paid for extra expenses required by the program such as: instruments, loups, books and other supplies like gloves, masks, lab coats, scrubs and shoes.  

Donna Penkava Grzegorek 


From the moment I was selected as a Distinguished Alumna at Harper College, my husband Mike and I discussed how wonderful it would be to create a scholarship for the dental hygiene department. Unbeknownst to me, my family created this scholarship at Harper College in my name. 

I graduated from the Dental Hygiene Program at Harper College in 1980. I have had a rewarding career; in large part from the influence of many great mentors who assisted me personally, professionally and financially throughout my dental hygiene journey. My family knew I would want to "pay it forward" to a dental hygiene student. Harper College made "paying it forward" possible through this scholarship opportunity. 


Thank You

Thank you for being a part of the movement to support Harper students as they realize their dreams. Learn more about scholarships at Harper College at the Harper College Educational Foundation website







Last Updated: 4/1/24