Krina Adhikari, Mundelein High School
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Parents: Pina and Mehul Adhikari
Sponsor: James Ongtengco, assistant principal
Community service: Haiti Action Committee, Mundelein After School Coalition, Stand UP Coalition, A-May-Zing Mundelein, Relay For Life Committee.
Personal statement: "Gandhi once said, 'Be the change you wish to see in the world.' I live by this quote. Volunteering is important to me because I want to give back to the community that has given me so much. I want to change the lives of others by devoting my time to various service activities. I aspire to continue transforming lives as I pursue a Ph.D. in clinical adolescent psychology."
Sponsor's endorsement: "By every standard, Krina is one of the most outstanding students who ever attended our high school, and a true student leader. Krina is currently the president of the After School Coalition, an integral member of the FBLA (Future Business Leaders of America) for four years, and an active member of Student Government and Link Crew. Her work and service ... reflects the type of person she is, the abilities she possess, and leadership qualities she exemplifies."
Laura Huiying Clugston, Lake Zurich High School
Hometown: Hawthorn Woods
Parents: William and Gloria Clugston
Sponsor: Carl Krause, college counselor
Community service: Good Shepherd Hospital Volunteer Services, Gift of Warmth coat drive, St. Matthew Lutheran Church, figure skating coach
Personal statement: "All that I have participated in with volunteering has been a wonderful experience. I have always felt amazing after my hard work. There is no better reward or thanks than seeing a smile you have put on other people's faces. Making other people's lives better as a result of my effort is what fuels me to continue on with community service."
Sponsor's endorsement: "Her junior year, Laura organized a coat drive at the high school. She used her spare time making fliers and greeting students and faculty in the morning with daily reminders of the coat drive. Because of Laura, Lake Zurich High School was able to donate a large number of coats to the less fortunate. I am in awe of Laura's academic record and her dedicated involvement in her school and community activities."
Chelsea Fuente, Woodlands Academy
Parents: Darlene and Daniel Fuente
Sponsor: Barbara Keilwitz, director of finance and operations
Community service: Camp SOAR, Cancer Treatment Centers of America (Midwestern Regional Hospital), Northwestern Lake Forest Hospital.
Personal statement: "Gandhi once said, 'The best way to find yourself is to lose yourself in service.' Service is not just a civil duty, but is a way of living. I have lost myself in service throughout my high school career. At first it felt like a requirement to complete service since my school requires 70 hours of service throughout the four years. But, after 70 hours were completed, I found I could not stop myself."
Sponsor's endorsement: "It is really this young woman's passion for others, her warm and engaging heart, and the joy she brings to others when she enters a room that impels me to recommend her for the Daily Herald leadership and service award. Many people can do many important things but never enter into reciprocal relationships with those they serve. That is not true with this student. She serves generously because of who she is."
Alexander Guletsky, Vernon Hills High School
Hometown: Vernon Hills
Parents: Peter and Paula Guletsky
Sponsor: Judy Stone, school counselor
Community service: Integrated P.E., Eagle Scout Service Project/Boy Scouts of America, Scouting for Food, Ryerson Woods, Cougars for Cougars
Personal statement: "The award that I am most proud of was my completion of the Eagle Scout Rank. ... And while many can see its attainment as the end of a Scout's journey, a good friend and mentor of mine challenged me to make it only the beginning of a much longer and more meaningful journey to help others and to 'do a good turn daily.' It was this challenge that pushed me to put in early mornings, late nights and long days into each and every one of my activities throughout high school."
Sponsor's endorsement: "As his counselor, I have witnessed his daily commitment to being the best person he can be, both in and out of school. Alexander is that 'someone special' -- the type of world citizen who makes me optimistic for the future. ... Alexander has earned my admiration and respect."
Natalie Krajewski, Grayslake North High School
Parents: Cliff and Amy Krajewski
Sponsor: Chris Kubic, social studies teacher
Community service: PADS, prepared and led Cyber Safety presentation, planning/administration of food drive, Lake County Forest Preserve - Rollins Savannah seed project, Novice Debate tournament trainer
Personal statement: "Knowing from a young age that I wanted to create a change around the world, I have worked to gain as much leadership and practical experience and knowledge as possible while expanding my understanding of social issues throughout the world. Even if my work touches the life of one person, it will have been well worth the effort."
Sponsor's endorsement: "I have been looking forward to writing this letter for almost four years. I have interacted with many outstanding students over the past several years, and Natalie Krajewski is exceptional even among them. I would place her among the top three students I have worked with so far in my career."
Katie Maximena, Grant Community High School
Parents: Nancy and Gary Maximena
Sponsor: Ryan Giest, economics teacher
Community service: Grant Township food drive, Domestic Violence Drive for Shelter Chicago, Special Olympics, Thanksgiving soup kitchen
Personal statement: "Being an athlete myself, it's been my dream to work with other athletes and help them achieve their goals. I want to instill the same strength in athletes that I see in my father as he fights his battle with cancer. It has been said that there is no better feeling than to watch someone succeed with your assistance. This statement is 100 percent accurate. Watching my team and my father gradually improve means the world to me."
Sponsor's endorsement: "I have been quite impressed with her ability to relate to other students and staff while displaying a compassion that few students her age have the ability to do. She has volunteered her time in our front office as well as to the guidance department. In a day and age when so many people seem only interested in the advancement of themselves, she continues on her path to try and help others and is truly a breath of fresh air."
Hannah Mowery,Libertyville High School
Parents: Jeff and Mary Mowery
Sponsor: Amy Belstra, college counselor
Community service: Girl Scout troop leader, National Honor Society, Libertyville High School Interact
Personal statement: "At 17 years old, I do not pretend to know what I want to do with the rest of my life. In general though, I hope to be successful in whatever field I choose. It is my goal to use this success as a platform to have a meaningful impact on my future community because I hope to never lose my passion for helping others get themselves on the right track. I feel that with some creativity I can accomplish this goal in any field I choose. My accomplishments in high school have first and foremost established in me a sense of duty toward the people and world around me."
Sponsor's endorsement: "She is a young woman deserving of every opportunity. Her positive attitude and willingness to perform to her greatest ability will lead her to successfully achieve her future goals. I believe she is capable of accomplishing remarkable things."
Brady Richter, Stevenson High School
Parents: Laurie and Jim Richter
Sponsor: Ted Goergen, director of student activities
Community service: Freshmen Mentor Program, Boys of Stevenson Spirit, National Honor Society, Project Dance Fundraiser, The Jefferson Awards
Personal statement: "Engineering will play a huge role in the 'greening' of society, and my love for math and science and understanding how things work has led me to believe that my career would be in the engineering field with the environment in mind. It's a way for me to use the skills that I possess to improve the aspects of the world that I care about."
Sponsor's endorsement: "He is the type of well-rounded, off-the-charts student that you meet once or twice in a teaching career. This student is a natural born leader, the kind of person who engages you with his charm, maturity and authentic interest in other people. He would be an overwhelming success without his immense intellectual talents. However, when you combine his 'EQ' with his 'IQ,' you start to see a truly special individual with unlimited potential."
Iris Schweier, Lakes Community High School
Parents: Peter and Susan Schweier
Sponsor: Stephen Plank, principal
Community service: Catholic Charities, student council, National Honor Society, World Food Programme, U.S. National Committee for World Food Day
Personal statement: "As I hope to run for political office in the future, I admire women such as Madeleine Albright and Hillary Clinton. I may follow in their footsteps and become the United States Secretary of State one day, or I may become the first female president of the United States. I believe that my accomplishments thus far will assist me in pursuing my goals as I am politically active at my school and in my community."
Sponsor's endorsement: "She is one of the kindest, most genuine young people walking the halls of our school. I have first hand witnessed her character, and have been very impressed with her ability to act as a positive role model while effectively leading other students. While at our school, she has achieved great success in her many ventures. Her soft, kind and humorous personality as well as many other attributes will enable her to achieve continued success."
Randy Vollrath, Warren Township High School
Parents: Lee and Caren Vollrath
Sponsor: Jayson Paulus, guidance counselor
Community service: Boy Scout Troop 672 Eagle project, Libertyville Covenant Church mission trip, National Honor Society, Northern Illinois Council for Alcohol and Substance Abuse teen court, Warren Township High School tutoring
Personal statement: "Being a successful leader takes not only stamina and charisma: it's important for a leader to have good intentions and to genuinely care about the people he leads. This takes bravery, effectiveness, consideration, patience and passion. Through my achievements in Boy Scouts and my commitment to my religion, I have learned to value and practice these qualities."
Sponsor's endorsement: "Looking at the list of activities the student is associated with leads the reader to imagine effort, but looking at the impact of involvement allows one to see true accomplishments and in turn impact that proves leadership. ... While balancing the causes this student believes to be worthy, and the personal demands of their academic course load, the student carries on in an inspiring, motivating manner."