Northwest Suburban Leadership Team, 2018-2019

  • The 2019 Northwest Suburban Daily Herald Leadership team includes, front row, left to right, Lidia Mena, Palatine High School; Zoe Robertson, Buffalo Grove High School; middle row, Anne MacDonald, Barrington High School; Maegan Jong, Fremd High School; Maura Hogaboom, St. Viator High School; back row, Jack Knott, Prospect High School; Megan Pasquarelli, Schaumburg High School; Nicole Lach, Maine East High School; Amalia Sordo-Palacios, St. Viator High School; and Rajat Mittal, Conant High School.

      The 2019 Northwest Suburban Daily Herald Leadership team includes, front row, left to right, Lidia Mena, Palatine High School; Zoe Robertson, Buffalo Grove High School; middle row, Anne MacDonald, Barrington High School; Maegan Jong, Fremd High School; Maura Hogaboom, St. Viator High School; back row, Jack Knott, Prospect High School; Megan Pasquarelli, Schaumburg High School; Nicole Lach, Maine East High School; Amalia Sordo-Palacios, St. Viator High School; and Rajat Mittal, Conant High School. Joe Lewnard | Staff Photographer

 
Updated 3/11/2019 8:19 AM

Maura Hogaboom, St. Viator High School
Maura Hogaboom, St. Viator High School
Maura Hogaboom, St. Viator High School

Hometown: Arlington Heights

Class: Senior

Parents: Dave Hogaboom and Colleen Gaughan

Sponsor: TJ King, counselor

Community service: Quest Retreat Leader, Saint James Parish Youth Ministry Mission Leader, Children of Abraham Coalition Volunteer

Personal statement: "There is nothing more important to me than equipping myself with the skills necessary to provide others with a future of prosperity, happiness, and hope, and to preserve their right to health care that will allow them to pursue that future. That is why I also hope to attain a medical degree so that I may become a physician in underprivileged areas, aiming to decrease the health care disparity."

Sponsor's endorsement: "She has dedicated much of her free time to providing service to those in need through mission trips, retreats and her work with the Children of Abraham Coalition and Big Brothers Big Sisters of America. Maura has a mature viewpoint on life and wants to use her resources and blessings to help others."

Maegan Jong, William Fremd High School
Maegan Jong, William Fremd High School
Maegan Jong, William Fremd High School

Hometown: Palatine

Class: Senior

Parents: Da-Tong Jong and Sheng-Shin Jian

Sponsor: Andrew Kittrell, Physical Education Department Chairman

Community service: Nomi Bobi founder and executive director, Mental Health Presentation Day organizer, Friendship Village of Schaumburg Mandarin Chinese instructor and dance performer

Personal statement: "I came up with an idea to introduce a schoolwide Mental Health Presentation Day. The event not only informed but also unified the student body around the issue of mental health. It sparked a greater school effort to establish mental health education and support programs for years to come."

Sponsor's endorsement: "This past year, I worked with Maegan to help bring the issue of mental health to our students during our annual Wellness Week. Maegan researched, interviewed, and helped organize speakers for two days' worth of presentations, and spoke herself to many of the students. Maegan has also founded Nomi Bobi, a local organization that has contributed more than $2,000 to local mental health organizations."

Jack Knott, Prospect High School
Jack Knott, Prospect High School
Jack Knott, Prospect High School

Hometown: Mount Prospect

Class: Senior

Parents: Matthew and Agnes Knott

Sponsor: Joyce Kim, English teacher

Community service: Life of a Knight founder, Kairos retreat leader, National Honor Society president

Personal statement: "The lifestyle principles we champion in Life of a Knight directly relate to my career aspirations. I will use my education in medicine and specialized skills to help others heal. I will travel to underdeveloped communities as I did at the Mexican border, and I will apply my medical training to help those who are in critical condition survive. I will strive to be a doctor that not only cures disease but also advocates for the healthcare rights of all people."

Sponsor's endorsement: "Jack saw the need to bring awareness to healthy living choices and founded Life of a Knight, a group focused on making beneficial choices in sleep, exercise, nutrition, and substance use. He travels to our feeder schools to inform younger students about the importance of making good decisions and has attended and presented at leadership conferences."

Nicole Lach, Maine East High School
Nicole Lach, Maine East High School
Nicole Lach, Maine East High School

Hometown: Des Plaines

Class: Senior

Parents: Janina Lach

Sponsor: Michael Pressler, principal

Community service: Rotary Interact leader, student council president, Habitat for Humanity Re-Store Chicago volunteer

Personal statement: "My accomplishments through an environmental program called Center for Conservation Leadership has influenced my life decisions and life goals. This program started off as a three-week summer program focusing on conserving the environment and protecting endangered species. After finishing the three-week program, traveling throughout Wisconsin and the Upper Peninsula of Michigan, it inspired me to create my own stewardship project."

Sponsor's endorsement: "Nicole has been one of the organizing forces behind the annual WGN Toy Drive for two years. Rotary Interact purchased over $13,800 of toys for underprivileged children in the Chicago area. Nicole provided significant leadership for planning and organizing fundraising efforts, coordinating 350 members, the purchase of toys, and transporting the toys to WGN."

Anne MacDonald, Barrington High School
Anne MacDonald, Barrington High School
Anne MacDonald, Barrington High School

Hometown: Barrington

Class: Senior

Parents: Bob and Claudine MacDonald

Sponsor: Laura Turngren, science teacher

Community service: Barrington Safety Town volunteer, Girls on the Run volunteer, Future Healthcare Professionals co-president

Personal statement: "Volunteering has also taught me countless life lessons, especially the responsibility that comes with being a role model for younger members of the community. I know that serving others will always be a part of who I am, and it has inspired me to pursue a career in pediatric physical therapy, and to become a person who thinks and acts for the common good."

Sponsor's endorsement: "Despite the fact that she competes at the highest level on the cross-country team, she has taken much more away from this experience than just the winning of races. She leads by example, pushing her teammates to try their best, work out their hardest, and give it their all when in competition and facing adversity. Anne has taken her passion for running to the community, volunteering many hours in Girls on the Run to inspire young girls to take up the sport of running."

Lidia Mena, Palatine High School
Lidia Mena, Palatine High School
Lidia Mena, Palatine High School

Hometown: Palatine

Class: Senior

Parents: Jose Mena and Ana Gonzalez

Sponsor: Alonso Ramirez, counselor

Community service: National Hispanic Institute president, Operation Snowball volunteer, Teen Advisory Board Executive Board member

Personal statement: "While volunteering as a staff member at Operation Snowball, I developed meaningful relationships with people from all over my district. What I like best about Snowball is the positive and welcoming environment. I have learned that a strong and positive environment can change the way people react. Some activities brought tears to my eyes because I realized that everyone lives a different life. People may not know the harsh situations others have to go through but these types of community organizations don't discriminate against them."

Sponsor's endorsement: "Lidia's work with the National Hispanic Institute (NHI) is truly remarkable. Through her work in the NHI Club, Lidia has challenged others to be leaders and advocates in Hispanic community. Lidia has organized fundraisers, clothing drives, and community meetings that have benefited the underserved in our area."

Rajat Mittal, James B. Conant High School
Rajat Mittal, James B. Conant High School
Rajat Mittal, Conant High School

Hometown: Schaumburg

Class: Senior

Parents: Bharat Mittal and Shalini Agrawal

Sponsor: Paula Hill, counselor

Community service: Midwest Math Circle co-founder, District 54 Special Olympics soccer and basketball coach, Math Team and Honors Math Team captain

Personal statement: "Realizing the need for math enrichment, I cofounded the Midwest Math Circle. Our aim was to inspire a change in the way students think about math, cultivating an atmosphere supportive of critical thinking and logical exploration. To create awareness, the co-founders and I designed a website and reached out to local schools and math competitions."

Sponsor's endorsement: "Rajat is a student who has the potential to change the world with his mathematical intelligence, his eagerness to teach others, and his genuine care in creating positive change. He currently is working on publishing a book to share his insights. Rajat has already changed our community, and many other surrounding communities, through his passion for teaching math to younger generations."

Megan Pasquarelli, Schaumburg High School
Megan Pasquarelli, Schaumburg High School
Megan Pasquarelli, Schaumburg High School

Hometown: Schaumburg

Class: Senior

Parents: Kevin and Donna Pasquarelli

Sponsor: Gina Postelli, English teacher

Community service: W.E.B. DuBois Holiday Project volunteer, Winter Gear Donation Drive organizer, District 54 Special Olympics dance team coach

Personal statement: "Sitting as a visitor in the gymnasium of W.E.B. Dubois Elementary School, I was exposed to a world of poverty and struggle, much different from the life I knew and lived every day. Learning of the many students who walked far distances to school without the proper winter clothing encouraged me to make an effort of my own in order to help improve their situation."

Sponsor's endorsement: "Megan and I worked together to organize a collection of winter outerwear for students at the W.E.B. DuBois Elementary School. In addition to the outerwear collection, Megan helped teachers connect with W.E.B. DuBois Elementary School and fulfill wishes of students in their "Letters to Santa." Megan was the organizer and planner of the all of the collections."

Zoe Robertson, Buffalo Grove High School
Zoe Robertson, Buffalo Grove High School
Zoe Robertson, Buffalo Grove High School

Hometown: Arlington Heights

Class: Senior

Parents: Geoffrey and Jocelyn Robertson

Sponsor: Karen Roberts, DECA adviser and Business Education teacher

Community service: National Honor Society president, Political Club board member, peer mentoring and miscellaneous hours organizer

Personal statement: "I support Adopt-a-Family so individuals may find their community, I organize events for the American Heart Association to protect health, and I engage in community political events to encourage all voices to be heard. The sum of those experiences, combined with my love of biology, has resulted in my desire to ultimately practice medicine -- a career that I believe is inherently good."

Sponsor's endorsement: "During the past four years, Zoe has been a member of DECA (secretary), National Honor Society (president), Political Club (board member), WYSE (team captain), band (first chair), Science Olympiad and varsity girls soccer (team captain) in which she has demonstrated her leadership skills day in and day out."

Amalia Sordo-Palacios, St. Viator High School
Amalia Sordo-Palacios, St. Viator High School
Amalia Sordo-Palacios, St. Viator High School

Hometown: Arlington Heights

Class: Senior

Parents: Jose Sordo and Amalia Palacios

Sponsor: TJ King, counselor

Community service: Arlington Heights Youth Commission representative, Children of Abraham Coalition board member, Social Justice Club leader

Personal statement: "Seeing kids with developmental disabilities light up when they first hold a horse's reins reminds me to find joy in the simple things, while being on the Youth Commission has shown me that even though I am only a high schooler, I have a voice and the ability to create change by proposing ideas and acting on them to better my city. I realize that no matter how small my actions may seem, they can have a big impact, especially if others are inspired to also get involved. Service has allowed me to become more compassionate and will continue to influence my future actions and values."

Sponsor's endorsement: "Amalia involves herself in a wide variety of leadership opportunities, follows through on her commitments, and carries herself with poise and self-confidence. Amalia is stunningly mature and trustworthy."

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