ROCKFORD, Ill. (WTVO) — Monday was “National College Decision Day,” when graduating seniors celebrate their plans for secondary education.

An event Monday night honored over 150 students who will be attending college on a full scholarship, all thanks to Rockford Promise.

The organization also honored Rockford Promise scholarship winners who will be graduating college this year. Many of them will be starting their new careers in the city.

“In only seven years, we’ve had a huge trajectory of growth, and we just cannot be more excited to celebrate it with all of Rockford tonight,” said Kaylene Groh, executive director of Rockford Promise.

RPS 205 seniors had been working toward this day all year long. One hundred and fifty-four students received full scholarships to continue their education at Northern Illinois University, Rockford University and Rock Valley College.

“So, back in 2016, we started with five full tuition scholarships, so we have just grown and grown and tonight is evidence of that,” Groh said. “We couldn’t think of a better spot to hold this huge celebration, than here at the Coronado, the crown jewel of our city.”

Along with the scholarship, recipients build connections and have mentors to work with.

“We’re really trying to work on this next year, is bringing students back to the community,” Groh said. “So, giving additional opportunities for internship and connections with local employers.”

Many of this year’s graduates are doing just that.

“We know that our scholars are coming back here to this community and making a difference,” Groh said. “They are nurses, they’re going to be attorneys. There’s all sorts of jobs that they’re fulfilling back here in our community, and that’s really what we want to see at Rockford Promise. We want to get students to college, through college, and then back to this community.”

Families packed the Coronado Theatre to celebrate the success of the students. Congratulations to all of the graduates and recipients.