Three Naperville-area high school seniors awarded $1,000 IMUA scholarships

Three Naperville-area high school seniors have been awarded $1,000 college scholarships by the Illinois Municipal Utilities Association of Springfield.

The three Naperville residents are Emma Vaupel, a 2022 graduate of Metea Valley High School; Jaisnav Rajesh, a 2022 graduate of Waubonsie High School; and, William Tong, a 2022 graduate of Naperville Central High School.

The three were among four finalists whose energy-related essays were chosen by a six-member IMUA Scholarship Program judging panel earlier this spring.

All three were presented their framed award certificates and $1,000 IMUA Scholarship Program checks by City of Naperville Director-Electric Utility and Illinois Municipal Electric Agency board member Brian Groth and IMUA Director of State Association Services & Communications and Scholarship Program Coordinator Ed Cobau prior to the June 7 meeting of the Naperville City Council.

• The daughter of Robert and Eileen Vaupel of Naperville, Vaupel is a 2022 Illinois State Scholar, 2021 AP Scholar with Honors and a member of the school's honor roll for the period 2019-2022. She plans to attend the University of Vermont in Burlington, Vermont, this fall.

• The son of Praveena Rajamannar of Naperville, Rajesh plans to attend Princeton University in Princeton, New Jersey.

• The son of Bing Tong and Zheng Cheng of Naperville, Tong plans to attend Northwestern University at Evanston this fall.

"We're proud to partner with the IMUA in helping provide a measure of financial assistance in support of a student's aspirations and college educational career," Groth said. "Both IMUA and the City of Naperville are dedicated to fostering an educational environment for all students, one which promotes a greater awareness of energy-related issues and which demonstrates the vital role the public power industry plays in today's business world. It's also one which recognizes that today's students are tomorrow's leaders."

Essays written by this year's four winners were chosen from among 61 entries submitted by eligible high school seniors in IMUA member communities statewide. Both Vaupel and Rajesh chose the essay topic of "The Benefits of Public Power" while Tong chose "Water, Underground Aquifers and Ensuring an Adequate Future Water Supply."

The fourth and remaining finalist in this year's essay competition was Nolan Kulavic, a 2022 graduate of Springfield High School in Springfield, Illinois.

Since its inception in 2000, IMUA's Scholarship Program has awarded more than $50,000 to 91 students from 29 different IMUA member-communities statewide.

Organized in 1948, the Illinois Municipal Utilities Association (IMUA) serves as the statewide trade organization for Illinois' municipal-utility systems. It is comprised of, and represents the unified interests of, 50 municipally-owned and operated electric, natural gas, cable, water, wastewater treatment and telecommunications utilities throughout Illinois, including the City of Naperville.

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