Lake County Leadership Team, 2018-2019
Diego Cisneros, Mundelein High School
Hometown: Round Lake
Parents: Mauro Cisneros, Elizabeth Cisneros
Sponsor: Kristen Behrens, English teacher
Community service: Penwasciz Medical Volunteer Internship at Advocate Condell Medical Center; Assistant Director of Catechism at Santa Maria del Popolo; volunteering at Our Lady of Angels food bank; guest speaker about educational resources at Universidad De Padres; AP Mentor/peer tutor
Personal statement: "I am excited to one day use sports medicine as a platform to change society and specifically help those from underprivileged backgrounds. I've been taught the value of giving back, especially to those who share similar paths as me. Most importantly, I've learned that in a world that is so divided, service has the ability to blur lines of race, socioeconomic status, and ideology."
Sponsor's endorsement: "Diego has a unique ability to capture people's attention and hearts in a matter of minutes. People value Diego not only for his naturally remarkable qualities, but also for the work that he does for others."
Janhvi Dubey, Warren Township High School
Hometown: Lake Villa
Parents: Pankaj and Anamika Dubey
Sponsor: Jen Scahill, counselor
Community service: Heading a team for the First Lego League, which promotes STEM exploration in children ages 9-14; helping plan Girls Just Wanna Engineer event to open up the world of STEM to girls ages 9-13; volunteering at Warren Newport Public Library; volunteering at Northern Illinois Food Bank
Personal statement: "Through my summer internships at Abbott, I have learned the importance of 'each one, reach one.' It is a motto that emphasizes the importance of service and continuity. It signifies that while one individual may not be able to make a difference for every single person in the world, his efforts will evidently matter to whomever he impacts."
Sponsor's endorsement: "She is the whole package -- intelligent, creative, compassionate, and driven to make a difference in the world. She is an absolute pleasure to talk to and I find myself learning as much if not more from her than she learns from me. When Jahnvi stops down to discuss her plans I can tell she is very thoughtful and deliberate in her choices."
Molly Graton, Libertyville High School
Parents: Dawn Graton, Richard Graton
Sponsor: Scott Bogumil
Community service: Co-founder and co-director of GirlCon women's STEM event; TopCats volunteer, tutoring and playing with at-risk elementary school students; co-Founder of CurieCats STEM club; WISH Program, providing Christmas gifts to families in need; leadership intern at Camp Invention day camp for elementary schoolchildren
Personal statement: "There were many times throughout the creation of GirlCon in which it felt like an unreachable dream. I was only 16 and with no adults overseeing the conference, it often felt like I was too young and inexperienced to truly create something meaningful. However, many girls gave us encouraging feedback about how they found inspiration and discovered new passions during GirlCon."
Sponsor's endorsement: "Molly co-created a summer conference named GirlCon for middle and high school girls interested in STEM. The conference took place at Northwestern University and had an attendance of over 200 young women from all over the Midwest. "
Grace Herrmann, Grayslake Central High School
Parents: Kristin and Phil Herrmann
Sponsor: Dustin Chierico, social studies
Community service: Best Buddies and Summer Camp, working with special-needs children; five mission trips across the country; Rams Dedicated club to help students perform at the highest level in academics and athletics; Tonkery Tough, making bracelets and raising funds to support a friend with leukemia; PADS volunteer at Shepherd of the Lakes
Personal statement: "As a social worker I will give people a safe space where they are able to be themselves but also encourage them to get out of their comfort zone. Knowing the impact that I had made in just one person's life inspired me to make more positive changes in other people's lives."
Sponsor's endorsement: "Grace Herrmann is a driven and skilled leader, and one of the most dedicated, genuine, compassionate workers I have ever met. More important than her leadership skills is the reason why she leads. Everything she does is because she cares about people, her school, her community, and values the opportunities she has been given."
Jillian Hoffstadt, Mundelein High School
Parents: Lauren Hoffstadt
Sponsor: Martha Ambrey, French teacher
Community service: Volunteering at Save-A-Pet; Handing out food at Community Care Center food pantry; volunteering with National Honor Society; planning MHS Common Ground Cultural Fair; traveled to South Africa through CIEE on a service and leadership summer abroad trip
Personal statement: "My plan is to study molecular and cellular biology and work as a microbiologist to find treatments and cures for diseases, specifically for communicable diseases that affect developing countries. I can use this skill to become a Peace Corps volunteer and serve people around the world."
Sponsor's endorsement: "Jillian is a student who will forever stick out in my mind as a young woman of extraordinary integrity, determination, and intelligence. She has made a positive impact in the lives of teachers and students during her high school career and will undoubtedly continue to do the same as she paves her way out into the world."
Amelia Lee, Stevenson High School
Parents: Rebecca Lee and Marc Lee
Sponsor: Dave Eddy, Student Activities Coordinator
Community service: Student council Give-A-Thon; helped reform Transfer Buddies program for transfer students; Freshman Mentor program; National Honor Society; Classroom Without Walls trips to Indonesia and Malaysia
Personal statement: "From my volunteer work in a variety of organizations, I've seen immediate positive feedback in other areas of my life. For example, my growth stemming from building relationships with transfer and freshman students and my ability to engage a large group both transfer to my presentational skills in the classroom."
Sponsor's endorsement: "Being a leader is more important than being involved in a whole lot of things. Sure, she does a lot that benefits the school, but beyond that, she encourages and enables students to be the best versions of themselves. Amelia is an includer. She works to stretch the circle wider and share what she has learned about the importance of becoming involved in the high school community."
Jack Mulcrone, Vernon Hills High School
Hometown: Vernon Hills
Parents: Jennifer and Jeffrey Mulcrone
Sponsor: DeAnn Firnbach, counselor
Community service: Independent environmental research project to create an energy farm using wind turbines; Each One, Teach One tutor and mentor; volunteering at Northwestern-affiliated hospital; volunteering with Global Health Initiative in the rural Barahona region of the Dominican Republic; summer school counselor with Middle School Enrichment Institute
Personal statement: "The independent environmental research project that I have been working on for the last two years was inspired by a need I saw to preserve natural resources and educate others about the way we can decrease our dependence on fossil fuels by proposing ways that my community can utilize renewable energy sources in order to power school activities."
Sponsor's endorsement: "Jack's planned major in the healthcare field is a good fit. His intelligence, creative problem-solving, strong work ethic, and positive demeanor have led him to be a thoughtful, engaged global citizen ready to make a difference."
Ellie Nerheim, Warren Township High School
Parents: Kim and Steve Nerheim
Sponsor: Betsy Sagala, counselor
Community service: Libertyville Stars Special Olympics swim team coach; volunteer with Lake County Honor Flight; Communications Committee Chair with Lake County State's Attorney's Office Young Ambassadors Board; juror and attorney with Zion Teen Court; chairperson of the Spring Shoe Drive for Warren's Mother Earth's Concerned Students Environmental Club
Personal statement: "I firmly believe that nothing happens by chance. With this in mind, the year I took the initiative for our family to participate in the Adopt-A-Sailor Program not only led to a Thanksgiving tradition, but was a significant influence in inspiring me to apply to our nation's Military Academies Class of 2023."
Sponsor's endorsement: "Elyce is a leader amongst her peers, perhaps best evidenced by her experience at Girls State, a government-in-action learning program. Elyce made such a positive impression on other participants that she was voted as the Federalist Party Leader out of more than 1,000 other students."
Sean Seidl, Carmel Catholic High School
Hometown: Buffalo Grove
Parents: Sandi and Chris Seidl
Sponsor: Michael Fitzgibbons, Campus Minister
Community service: Leading schoolwide charity events as president of the Social Justice Club; rector for Kairos Retreat; Leadership Intern at Camp Invention STEM camp for grade school students; group leader with St. Mary School Buffalo Grove Confirmation Program; serving and training others as an altar server at St. Mary Parish
Personal statement: "As a president of my school's Social Justice Club, my position allows me to organize and lead events to help the community around me. From collecting food for a local pantry to money for hurricane relief, I learned, through people's donations, that there is an abundance of generosity in the world."
Sponsor's endorsement: "It is what Sean does with his gifts that makes him stand out at our school. He has chosen to develop his considerable leadership skills in various roles in our community. … Sean knows his strengths and shares them without looking for rewards or accolades."
Aandal Sridas, Grayslake Central High School
Hometown: Round Lake
Parents: Sen and Kavitha Sridas
Sponsor: Adrijana Bisevac, social studies
Community service: Running the student council's annual food drive; student representative on District 127 School Board; packing food and clothes for homeless individuals in Chicago; working with Principal's Advisory Committee to execute Skills Development/Leadership Program; Winter Gala
Personal statement: "My favorite part of leadership is not being able to represent others, but in seeing others learn to represent themselves and things they are passionate about. Even those who are afraid to speak have something unique and valuable to share, and if all that takes is someone to listen and empower them, I am more than willing to do the job."
Sponsor's endorsement: "Aandal has expressed an interest in pursuing a field such as International Relations in the future. She is a true intellect and possesses the skills necessary to excel in this field. More importantly, she genuinely cares about making a difference and positively impacting the world around her."