Meet the 2016-17 Daily Herald Leadership Team

Meet the 2016-17 Daily Herald Leadership Team.

From supporting their peers at school, to raising tens of thousands of dollars for local charities, to working tirelessly to improve conditions for children around the globe, these suburban teens far exceed expectations with their dedication to community and making the world a better place.

This year's four teams — representing the Northwest suburbs, Lake County, DuPage County and the Fox Valley — include a student who created a mentorship program for teens living in one of the poorest parts of Africa; friends who together raised more than $100,000 to battle Lou Gehrig's disease; a young entrepreneur who launched a business that raises money to fight pediatric cancer; and a teen who organized a “hack-a-thon” that sought digital solutions to the challenges of autism.

“Solving problems is my passion, even though I know they don't always have answers,” says Prospect High School senior Jimmy McDermott, who led the hack-a-thon and created a fundraiser to get mammograms for adults who can't afford them. “I have to try, though. I have to try for others who may not have the chance to try for themselves.”

“From a very young age, my parents taught me that simple acts of service can make a positive difference in someone's life,” adds Adriana Feijoo, a Mundelein High School senior who created Fighting Back Against Cancer, a nonprofit that raises money and gives grants to local families affected by the disease. “My accomplishments through my volunteerism have shown me that my small acts of service can go a long way and change the lives of the people around me.”

Honorable mentions: Fox Valley Leadership Team, 2016-2017

DuPage County Leadership Team, 2016-2017

Fox Valley Leadership Team, 2016-2017

Honorable mentions: DuPage County Leadership Team

Lake County Leadership Team, 2016-2017

Honorable mentions: Northwest Suburban Leadership Team 2016-2017

Northwest Suburban Leadership Team, 2016-2017

  The Daily Herald's DuPage County Leadership Team includes, top row, A.J. Panganiban, St. Francis High School; Elizabeth Spurlock, Wheaton North High School; Julia Hildebrand, Wheaton Warrenville South High School; middle row, Jane Boettcher, Naperville North High School; Delaney Gibbons, Naperville Central High School; Renata Leighton, Glenbard East High School; and, front row, James Dourdourekas, Benet Academy; Taylor Morrissey, Naperville Central High School; and Lilia Garcia, Addison Trail High School. Mark Black/
  The Daily Herald's Fox Valley Leadership Team includes, top row from left, Jessica Freese, Hampshire High School; Claire Miller, St. Charles North High School; and William Tong of Illinois Math and Science Academy; middle row, from left, Grace Keegan of Geneva High School; Kristi Isola of Cary-Grove High School; Peter Williams of Harvest Christian Academy; and Jacob Fiedler of Marian Central High School; and bottom row from left, Ivana Dulanto of Cary-Grove High School; Maria Morales of Elgin High School; and Henry Feldhaus of Aurora Central Catholic High School. Patrick Kunzer/
  The Daily Herald's Lake County Leadership Team includes, kneeling from left, Nathan Metz, Warren Township High School; Mario Giannini, Grayslake Central High School; and standing from left, Ashley Schenk, Round Lake High School; Nikol Safronova, Adlai E. Stevenson High School; Jack Gelinas, Lake Zurich High School; Maddie Johnson, Lakes Community High School; Gracie Bouker, Antioch Community High School; Aakash Setty, Vernon Hills High School; Adriana Feijoo, Mundelein High School; and Aparajitha Adiraju, Vernon Hills High School. Steve Lundy/
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