DuPage County Academic Team, 2016-2017

  • Ten students have been chosen for the 2017 Daily Herald Academic Team for DuPage County. Front and center is Jungin Angie Lee of Metea Valley. Left to right in the back are Grace Linrui Hong, Neuqua Valley; Whitney Jin, Waubonsie Valley; Stephen Bean, Glenbard South; William Zhang, Naperville Central; Emma Wilson, Downers Grove North; Rick Li, Naperville Central; James Mathew, Hinsdale Central; Kelvin Li, Naperville North; and Vivian Yuan, Naperville North.

    Ten students have been chosen for the 2017 Daily Herald Academic Team for DuPage County. Front and center is Jungin Angie Lee of Metea Valley. Left to right in the back are Grace Linrui Hong, Neuqua Valley; Whitney Jin, Waubonsie Valley; Stephen Bean, Glenbard South; William Zhang, Naperville Central; Emma Wilson, Downers Grove North; Rick Li, Naperville Central; James Mathew, Hinsdale Central; Kelvin Li, Naperville North; and Vivian Yuan, Naperville North. Bev Horne | Staff Photographer

 
Posted5/23/2017 5:23 AM

Stephen Bean
Stephen Bean
Stephen Bean, Glenbard South High School

Hometown: Glen Ellyn

Parents: Vern and Gabriella Bean

Sponsor: Jennifer Pacheco, school counselor

GPA: 5.7447 on a weighted 5.0 scale

Test scores: ACT: 35

Planned major: Chemical engineering

Awards, honors: AP Scholar with Distinction, National Honor Society, National Merit commended scholar, honor roll, Illinois State Scholar

Personal statement: "My academic accomplishments thus far, however numerous, have very little bearing on the man I want to be. They were my schooling and the foundation I will build on, but I would hate to confuse that with my education. For that, I choose to look toward my family, church, and friends (some who support and others who challenge me), my Boy Scout Troop, and the teams I lead."

Sponsor's endorsement: "Looking through his resume, I find myself trying to choose the most impressive pieces, but the problem is that everything he does is impressive. I find myself just in awe of everything that he has accomplish in his four short years here."

Grace Linrui Hong
Grace Linrui Hong
Grace Linrui Hong, Neuqua Valley High School

Hometown: Naperville

Parents: Jie Yang and Xiang Hong

Sponsor: Shawna Stanley, counselor

GPA: 4.7347 on a weighted 4.0 scale

Test scores: ACT: 35

Planned major: Computer science

Awards, honors: 2016 Huffington Post and Ford's 20 Under 20 Next Generation of STEAM Pioneers; 2016 TechCrunch Disrupt San Francisco Hackathon finalist; 2017 National Center for Women & IT Award for Aspirations in Computing honorable mention, Illinois affiliate; National Merit finalist, honor roll, AP Scholar, Illinois State Scholar

Personal statement: "Ultimately, I aspire to live a life of continual learning, not to become a recluse sage, but rather, to actively improve my surrounding community. So long as I am learning, I shall be constantly interacting with the world around me."

Sponsor's endorsement: "I enthusiastically recommend Grace for this honor. She has the social and academic skills necessary to succeed as she continues her educational journey and pursues further studies in computer science."

Whitney Jin
Whitney Jin
Whitney Jin, Waubonsie Valley High School

Hometown: Naperville

Parents: Zhongmin Jin, Ying Xiong

Sponsor: Mrs. Karen Kuhlman

GPA: 4.6531 on a weighted 4.0 scale

Test scores: ACT: 36

Planned major: Biochemistry with a potential minor in global health studies on a pre-med track

Awards, honors: NIH Poster Day Honorable Mention, Featured Pianist in the 32nd Young Steinway Concert Series, Indian Prairie Scholar, National Merit commended scholar, honor roll, AP Scholar, Presidential Scholar candidate, Illinois State Scholar

Personal statement: "By performing experiments and discussing various cancers in seminars, I contributed to the cancer-curing movement within my lab, a movement I will serve with gusto, as both a researcher and physician, throughout my life."

Sponsor's endorsement: "As demonstrated through my interactions with Whitney and her writing, she is a very detailed and articulate student, who puts pride in her work. Her organizational skills can be seen from her staying focused on her academics while involved in the school community."

Jungin Angie Lee
Jungin Angie Lee
Jungin Angie Lee, Metea Valley High School

Hometown: Naperville

Parents: Edmund & Kim Lee

Sponsor: Amanda Pyzik

GPA: 4.72 on a weighted 4.0 scale

Test scores: ACT: 36

Planned major: English

Awards, honors: 2016 Recognition in U.S. Congressional Record by Congressman Peter Roskam for exceptional volunteer work; 2016 Prudential Spirit of Community Awards: National Honoree, awarded to "honor youth for outstanding volunteer service;" 2016 Scholastic Art & Writing Awards: Midwest Region At-Large Silver Keys in short story, poetry, and personal essay categories; National Merit finalist, honor roll, AP Scholar, Presidential Scholar candidate, Illinois State Scholar, student government

Sponsor's endorsement: "Angie has a unique way of connecting with people; her smile is contagious. She will flourish in the most challenging academic setting and will never lose motivation to learn something new and put in 101 percent effort to whatever she takes on her plate."

Kelvin Li
Kelvin Li
Kelvin Li, Naperville North High School

Hometown: Naperville

Parents: Hongsheng Li, Linda Tang

Sponsor: Elizabeth Brucker

GPA: 4.837 on a weighted 4.0 scale

Test scores: ACT: 36

Planned major: Chemical and physical biology

Awards, honors: U.S. National Chemistry Olympiad -- Honors; AP Microeconomics Perfect Score; Science Bowl State Champion (and National Qualifier); National Merit finalist, honor roll, AP Scholar, Presidential Scholar candidate, Illinois State Scholar

Personal statement: "Being able to learn for the rest of my life ... would actually be quite fun for me, and on the path to becoming a doctor or a research physician, I know that I'll always be learning new things. Yes, it'll be an arduous process, and, yes, it'll be a long time until I'm actually out of school, but I'm excited for a future that'll be filled with learning the things that I love."

Sponsor's endorsement: "Kelvin is interested in majoring in chemistry/biochemistry, but he will be a successful student in any field."

Rick Li
Rick Li
Rick Li, Naperville Central High School

Hometown: Naperville

Parents: Hong Liu, Peng Li

Sponsor: Linda Gross, school counselor

GPA: 4.780 on a weighted 4.0 scale

Test scores: ACT: 36

Planned major: Molecular and cellular biology or biomedical engineering

Awards, honors: USA Biology Olympiad national finalist and bronze medalist, National Merit finalist, honor roll, National Honor Society, AP Scholar, Presidential Scholar candidate, Illinois State Scholar

Personal statement: "My academic career has been extremely rewarding. I have challenged myself to expand my thinking and interact constructively with other people. Moreover, my work in the life sciences has introduced me to a wide range of fields which could potentially change the way we live."

Sponsor's endorsement: "Rick's brilliance and hunger for learning are keys to his success, but the values Rick holds close will ensure that he continues to ascend both academically and personally."

James Mathew
James Mathew
James Mathew, Hinsdale Central High School

Hometown: Hinsdale

Parents: Jacob & Suja Mathew

Sponsor: Edward Formanski, counselor

GPA: 5.98 on a weighted 5.0 scale

Test scores: ACT: 36

Planned major: Government with a minor in global health and health policy

Awards, honors: National Merit commended scholar, honor roll, National Honor Society, AP Scholar with Distinction, Presidential Scholar candidate, Illinois State Scholar, Illinois General Assembly recognition

Personal statement: "Following my undergraduate education, I hope to pursue a JD/MD program, giving me the ability to practice medicine and also explore careers that intersect health policy and government. My aspiration is to one day hold public office, through which I can influence our nation's health via supportive legislation."

Sponsor's endorsement: "Whether in the classroom, on the soccer pitch, singing in the choir, volunteering for a local food pantry, or pitching an idea to a nonprofit CEO, he distinguishes himself with excellence."

Emma Wilson
Emma Wilson
Emma Wilson, Downers Grove North High School

Hometown: Lisle

Parents: Timothy and Ana Wilson

Sponsor: Teri Manderino, counselor

GPA: 4.8163 on a weighted 4.0 scale

Test scores: ACT: 35

Planned major: Russian and Eastern European studies, creative writing

Awards, honors: Scholastic Art and Writing Awards: National Silver Medal-Poetry and National Student Poet Program Finalist; Young Arts Winner, Merit Award-Poetry; National Hispanic Recognition Program Scholar; National Merit finalist, honor roll, National Honor Society, AP Scholar with Distinction, Illinois State Scholar

Personal statement: "I want to write. I want to teach people about the things I love. I want to give new meanings to words. I want to learn new words. I want to solve current problems with the problems of the past. And I want to give to the world in any way I can."

Sponsor's endorsement: "Emma's passion for learning, academic ability, and her endearing personality will pave the way for success in her next learning adventure."

Vivian Yuan
Vivian Yuan
Vivian Yuan, Naperville North High School

Hometown: Lisle

Parents: Jin and Gordon Yuan

Sponsor: Elizabeth Moore

GPA: 4.708 on a weighted 4.0 scale

Test scores: ACT: 36

Planned major: Business administration or economics

Awards, honors: DECA Career Development Conference three-time internationals qualifier and Top 3 state award recipient; National Merit finalist, honor roll, National Honor Society, AP Scholar, Presidential Scholar candidate, Illinois State Scholar

Personal statement: "Brick by brick, my castle begins to take shape, propelling me higher toward my dreams and ambitions. My academic accomplishments simultaneously construct this castle and clear away the clouds above it, revealing my personal life goals that span the skies in the shape of my story waiting to be told."

Sponsor's endorsement: "Vivian truly understands that, in a successful situation, one must be both a leader and a learner."

William Zhang
William Zhang
William Zhang, Naperville Central High School

Hometown: Naperville

Parents: Larry Zhang and Jenny Li

Sponsor: Anna Ma, school counselor

GPA: 4.717 on a weighted 4.0 scale

Test scores: ACT: 35

Planned major: Computer science and economics

Awards, honors: National Merit finalist, National Council of Teachers of English Superior Performance in Writing Award, AP Scholar with Distinction, honor roll, National Honor Society, Illinois State Scholar

Personal statement: "Ultimately, as I transition to college, I recognize the skills I have already learned and I look forward to not only gaining new abilities, but also continuing to strengthen my previously established skills as I take on my next set of challenges and opportunities."

Sponsor's endorsement: "Aside from being gifted, William's personal qualities of being introspective, independent, and giving contribute to his great success. By chance, I have seen William volunteering out in the community and at school a few times, such as helping freshmen families navigate the building or providing support to local agencies."

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