Stevenson High School students Melissa Engel and Jeffrey Epstein were honored recently by the Friends of Vernon Area Public Library.
Engel was named the winner of the fourth annual $2,000 Allen Meyer Memorial Scholarship, and Jeffrey Epstein received the first $500 honorable mention award.
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Engel, a Buffalo Grove resident, is a senior at Adlai E. Stevenson High School. She plans to study anthropology and human biology at Emory University in the fall, and eventually pursue a career as a pediatric specialist for children with chronic diseases. She was a summer volunteer at the library from 2007 to 2010.
She said the experience "confirmed my passion for giving back to the community, as well as my love for working with children, and it led me to countless other volunteer opportunities."
The Friends group for the first time conferred an honorable mention award. The recipient, Jeffrey Epstein, also is a Buffalo Grove resident and senior at Stevenson.
Epstein's flush schedule included school, a part-time job, and many extracurricular activities, including running his own business. Epstein and a partner recently opened a teen dance club, INFINITY, through a Lake Zurich Chamber of Commerce Young Entrepreneurs program. Epstein plans to attend the College of Lake County this fall to pursue a degree in business.
The annual Allen Meyer Memorial Scholarship is sponsored by the Friends of the Vernon Area Public Library in honor of former library director Allen Meyer, who died in 2008.
The scholarship is awarded to one high school senior in the Vernon Area Public Library District each year. Applicants are required to write an essay illustrating how the library has affected their life or educational goals, along with submitting transcripts that demonstrate academic achievement. This is the fourth year the Friends have made an award.
Friends board President Angela Goodrich awarded the scholarship checks May 21 at an after-hours ceremony at the library.
The Friends of the Vernon Area Library are advocates who support the library and its goals through fundraising and volunteering. Some of the special projects funded by the Friends include the annual Allen Meyer Memorial Scholarship, the Summer Reading Club paperback book giveaway, new audiovisual equipment and an art gallery hanging system for the library's meeting room, and the ongoing "Books for Babies" initiative.
The Vernon Area Public Library District serves a population of 42,900 within a 29-square-mile area that includes all of Lincolnshire and Prairie View, and parts of Buffalo Grove, Long Grove, Riverwoods, Vernon Hills, and unincorporated Vernon and Ela townships.
For details, visit www.vapld.info.