Royal Neighbors of America, a fraternal benefit society based in Rock Island, has awarded $175,000 in scholarships to 41 Beneficial Members nationwide, to help with the costs of continuing education.

Annie Rafferty of Rock Island is one of five QC scholarship recipients.

The scholarships are awarded annually to help members pursue post-secondary education at an accredited institution to obtain a trade or vocational degree, associate degree, bachelor’s degree, master’s degree, or doctoral degree.

“We are grateful to offer our Members this opportunity each year and especially during this unique period of economic hardship as inflation impacts every household,” Darcy Smith, Royal Neighbors Senior Member Engagement Specialist, said in a Monday release.

Ty Callahan of Bettendorf.

Royal Neighbors awarded scholarships to five local QC students. including Carrigan Minch from Sherrard, Ill.

“This scholarship helps to alleviate the loans that I would need to take out to achieve my bachelors degree in political science and psychology at one of the top schools in the country,” she said. “It helps push me to achieve my dreams and making the organization proud of the things I accomplish under this scholarship.”

Kacie Swanson of Sherrard.

Other QC students awarded are Kara and Kacie Swanson of Sherrard, Annie Rafferty of Rock Island, and Ty Callahan of Bettendorf.

“Our recipients continue to be leaders in their communities dedicated to giving back to those in need,” Smith said. “Wherever they go, I know they will make an impactful difference.”

Kara Swanson of Sherrard.

Since its inception in 1961, the Royal Neighbors Scholarship Program has provided more than $5 million in funding to qualifying member students who are selected based on their academic merit, community volunteer efforts, and leadership skills, the company said. Scholarship funds will be used to help fund student tuition, room and board, and books. To learn more about the program, visit

Royal Neighbors of America is a unique provider of life insurance and annuities whose mission is to protect women financially and empower them to improve their lives, families, and communities.