Naperville Central grad awarded AAUW Cariya Reed Scholarship Award

The American Association of University Women-Naperville has selected Maelyn "Mae" Gangi to receive its prestigious 2022 Cariya Reed Legacy Scholarship award.

Mae Gangi is a recent Naperville Central High School graduate who finished her NCHS career with a 4.358 weighted GPA, a host of athletic and club participations, including founding the NCHS Mental Health Matters Club, lots of community-volunteer experience, and some work experience to boot. Gangi served on the Board of NCHS's chapter of the National Honor Society, and received the International Seal of Biliteracy for her language studies.

Gangi will attend Vanderbilt University in the fall, where she plans to study Psychology on her way to becoming a child and adolescent therapist.

In her introduction at the Scholarship Ceremony, Chairwoman Paulette Goodman described Gangi as having "such enthusiasm and genuine desire to move herself forward in assisting with mental health, that we sat in awe of the determination that she demonstrated so easily. Poised, articulate, personable, and witty, Mae proved that she was not only an excellent student, but a force that cannot be stopped."

The scholarship honors Cariya Reed, a young girl whose life ended too soon due to domestic violence.

In her emotional acceptance speech, Mae said about her impending career, "It's coming to fruition because of my family, staff at school, and people who believe in me and encourage me ... I genuinely am so passionate about this, and there's so much that I can do" to help kids in the future in regards to mental health.

Gangi is a survivor of domestic violence. She has been living with her mother and brother in Naperville since 2007. She intends to help young people heal from trauma and stress, and hopes for a better future world for children and young adults.

The Naperville branch of AAUW is open to all. Visit

Mae Gangi
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