Breaking News Bar
posted: 6/3/2011 6:00 AM

2010-2011 DuPage County Academic Team

Success - Article sent! close
  • Omar Almasri

    Omar Almasri

  • Grace Hitzeman

    Grace Hitzeman

  • Kevin Hu

    Kevin Hu

  • Roche Kapoor

    Roche Kapoor

  • Krystle M. Leung

    Krystle M. Leung

  • Rabeya Mallick

    Rabeya Mallick

  • Antonela Andonia Miho

    Antonela Andonia Miho

  • Ashley Miller

    Ashley Miller

  • Ahmad Mansoor Safi

    Ahmad Mansoor Safi

  • Lydia Smith

    Lydia Smith


Omar Almasri, College Preparatory School of America

Hometown: Chicago Ridge

Parents: Ohoud Obich, Mohammad Obich

Sponsor: Nafe Hussein, counselor

Class rank: 1 out of 31

GPA: 4.6 on a 4.0 (weighted) scale

Test scores: ACT: 34; SAT: 2190

College: Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Stanford University or University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign

Planned major: Nuclear engineering

Awards, honors: National Merit finalist, AP Scholar with Distinction, second place in physics at the state level in Worldwide Youth in Science and Engineering

Personal statement: "My view of oppression has not only changed my personality but also my way of life. I am living in a state of conscious awakening -- being aware of my every step and the invaluable lives around me."

Sponsor's endorsement: "Omar Almasri is one of those rare students that not only excel academically and foster pride within their teachers but also leave them with a sense of satisfaction and hope for the future."

Grace Hitzeman, St. Francis High School

Hometown: Winfield

Parents: Daniel and Bonnie Hitzeman

Sponsor: Trudy Rigney, director of guidance

Class rank: 2 out of 195

GPA: 5.19 on a 4.0 (weighted) scale

Test scores: ACT: 35

College: Amherst College, Kenyon College or Wesleyan

Planned major: English or pre-law

Awards, honors: National Merit Commended Scholar, AP Scholar, NASSP Principal's Leadership Award nominee

Personal statement: "I love learning, and I love sharing my passion of learning with others. I especially love reading and the power that literature has over people's views. I also appreciate the role that books have in molding children's minds."

Sponsor's endorsement: "This young lady is every teacher's dream student. She is a student in every sense of the word. All the superlatives apply to her. She is very bright, mature, curious, analytical and enthusiastic. In a highly competitive senior class this year, this student has shown that she can compete with the very best. Her teachers have nothing but praise for her excellent mind and incredible work ethic."

Kevin Hu, Naperville Central

Hometown: Naperville

Parents: Zack and Lily Hu

Sponsor: Gregory Smith, counselor

Class rank: School doesn't rank

GPA: 4.808 on a 4.0 (weighted) scale

Test scores: ACT: 36; SAT: 2390

College: Harvard

Planned major: Mathematics and computer science

Awards, honors: 2010 Research Science Institute Scholar, 2008 Mathematics Olympiad Summer Program participant, five-time USA Mathematics Olympiad qualifier

Personal statement: "As a passionate violinist and the founder and project leader of a volunteer group of high school musicians at Edward Hospital, I also have a commitment to the arts and to my community. While pursuing my education, I plan on starting and developing a volunteer music education program that will take at-risk youth off the streets and into music classes that will offer them a place to learn, a place to be safe, and a place to fit in."

Sponsor's endorsement: "I have had thousands of students on my caseload. My nominee is the top, number one student of them all. The best I've ever had."

Roche Kapoor, Lake Park High School

Hometown: Roselle

Parents: Hemant and Reena Kapoor

Sponsor: Christine Ward, counselor

Class rank: 1 out of 714

GPA: 5.69 on a 5.0 (weighted) scale

Test scores: ACT: 35

College: Princeton University, Harvard or Washington University in St. Louis

Planned major: Neuroscience

Awards, honors: National Merit Scholar Commendation, AP Scholar, Illinois State Scholar

Personal statement: "I want to help children all around the world live and grow with knowledge and spread that true appreciation and happiness for something as simple as language. I want those children to illuminate the world with their hope and become a beacon for the future. "

Sponsor's endorsement: "Many people talk about changing the world, but this young man is already doing it. I can only imagine the satisfaction he receives when he tutors kids in the slums of New Delhi, and I have no doubt that when he becomes a neurosurgeon, he'll spend part of his time in areas where people don't have access to even basic medical care."

Krystle M. Leung, Naperville Central

Hometown: Naperville

Parents: Dr. and Mrs. Leung

Sponsor: Linda Gross, counselor

Class rank: School doesn't rank

GPA: 4.8 on a 4.0 (weighted) scale

Test scores: ACT: 36; SAT: 2400

College: Harvard, Stanford or Princeton

Planned major: Chemistry/biochemistry, humanities

Awards, honors: Intel Science Talent Search finalist (top 40 in nation), US National Chemistry Olympiad finalist (top 20 in nation), Siemens Awards for Advanced Placement (state winner)

Personal statement: "Though intellect has made the pursuit of my dreams easier to achieve, I have always believed that what matters more is character; thus, I am proudest of an intangible accomplishment -- gaining the fortitude to get up after falling -- one that I am still working toward daily."

Sponsor's endorsement: "Krystle's desire to learn is limitless and emanates from her very core. She does not concern herself with tactics to inflate her GPA nor does she strategize ways to move up the ladder to the top of her class. Her sole purpose in choosing classes or extracurricular activities is to explore her many interests, to grow and to give back to others."

Rabeya Mallick, Naperville North

Hometown: Naperville

Parents: Samina and Tanweer Mallick

Sponsor: Timothy Brown, teacher

Class rank: School doesn't rank

GPA: 4.574 on a 4.0 (weighted) scale

Test scores: ACT: 34; SAT: 2200

College: Northwestern University, University of Illinois at Chicago or University of Michigan

Planned major: Psychology, French or education

Awards, honors: National Merit semifinalist, National Honor Society, AP Scholar

Personal statement: "Too often, we find ourselves focused simply on achieving one goal, one end result, and we have to sacrifice other passions and interests in order to excel in whichever we deem most important. However, I have found, through my high school experience and all that I have accomplished, ways to ensure that that which is important to me now remains a part of my life as I grow up and focus on my career."

Sponsor's endorsement: "I anticipate someone of her potential and caliber to succeed and excel in whatever she puts her mind to."

Antonela Andonia Miho, Wheaton North High School

Hometown: Carol Stream

Parents: Piro and Alma Miho

Sponsor: Kim Wittersheim, counselor

Class rank: 4 out of 525

GPA: 3.98 on a 4.0 scale

Test scores: ACT: 35; SAT: 2270

College: University of California, Columbia University or Princeton University

Planned major: Double major in international relations and economics

Awards, honors: Academic Achievement Award, AP Scholar with Honors, Illinois State Scholar

Personal statement: "Cultural differences ... are merely differing ways to clothe the same body: the collective body of humankind. A person's culture becomes an integral part of her identity, shaping her dreams and aspirations. Yet, just as integral is the understanding that under the trappings of culture and custom beat hearts sharing the same needs and wants."

Sponsor's endorsement: "It is extremely rare to see a foreign student who speaks very little English progress from an English as a Second Language program into a fast-paced, gifted course of study; yet that is exactly what Antonela did."

Ashley Miller, Naperville North

Hometown: Naperville

Parents: Bryan and Sherri Miller

Sponsor: Heather Schild, English teacher

Class rank: School doesn't rank

GPA: 4.58 on a 4.0 (weighted) scale

Test scores: ACT: 35

College: University of Southern California, University of Central Florida or Caltech

Planned major: Business administration

Awards, honors: NASA INSPIRE Intern of the Year, Glenn Research Center; National Merit finalist, AP Scholar

Personal statement: "I've begun to see my life as a jigsaw puzzle. My life as a whole can be thought of as that complete picture. The border represents my overall life goals, a guiding force that outline the paths I need to take. Inside the puzzle it is much less clear where I should begin. Each separate piece represents one snapshot of my life. Apart, the pieces can seem minute, irrelevant to my grand picture. However, it is when I put my pieces together that I am able to create a deeper purpose and work toward achieving an overall greater impact with my life."

Sponsor's endorsement: "Ashley is an accomplished individual who works hard in both academic and leadership roles."

Ahmad Mansoor Safi, Glenbard North High School

Hometown: Hanover Park

Parents: Abdul Nasir Safi and Aziza Safi

Sponsor: Kimberly Saxton, chemistry

Class rank: 1 out of 623

GPA: 5.8462 on a 5.0 (weighted) scale

Test scores: ACT: 35

College: Duke University

Planned major: Biology/pre-medicine

Awards, honors: National Merit Scholarship Commended Student, Northern Illinois Student Press Association Blue Ribbon Award for Excellence in Journalism, AP Scholar Award

Personal statement: "One day, I hope to help others on an even bigger scale as a doctor, teacher, or professor. Whether it means transplanting a heart into a dying patient or simply teaching cellular respiration to a group of high school seniors, I hope that one day I will not only be an expert in my work, but also an expert who puts others before himself and will do whatever it takes to change other people's lives for the better."

Sponsor's endorsement: "He has grown and matured into one of the best students of my career. There are not enough superlatives to describe this young man and do justice to how special he truly is."

Lydia Smith, Glenbard West High School

Hometown: Glen Ellyn

Parents: George and Cecilia Smith

Sponsor: Kate Culloton, counselor

Class rank: 8 out of 520

GPA: 5.69 on a 5.0 (weighted) scale

Test scores: ACT: 31

College: Rice University

Planned major: Visual art or art history

Awards, honors: Outstanding Art Award (three years: Drawing I, Ceramics, Junior student), Outstanding German Honors Student Award (two years), Academic Letter and Gold Bar (three years)

Personal statement: "One of my goals is to communicate with others and highlight things that are often left unnoticed. The things that others ignore and blend together, I pay attention to and pull out from their surroundings."

Sponsor's endorsement: "This student has been a superstar. Currently, she ranks in the top 2 percent of her class, no small feat in a school of our caliber. In addition, she is an award-winning artist, with extensive credits in our most advanced art classes. She manages to balance the analytical and the artistic -- equally comfortable sitting at a desk or standing at an easel."