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Daily Herald's DuPage County Leadership Team BACK TO STORY
Community service: Participated in a spring break service trip to Appalachia through High School Outreach; organized a school supply drive through High School Outreach; Autumn Grove Resource Center tutor; Marquard Center Soup Kitchen volunteer; Feed My Starving Children volunteer; Outreach Executive Board
Personal statement: "The people we served food to were poor, homeless, down on their luck. This man was happy - to have a roof over his head, to have warm food on his plate, to have a glass of clean water. ... I'm of a generation that places immense value on material things, superficial things. ... But this man had nothing. It was the most humbling experience of my life."
Sponsor's endorsement: "My nominee loves to discuss, interpret, argue, and debate - interests that have led to his desire to pursue a liberal arts education. Whether he eventually chooses to pursue a political career or a teaching career, he is eager to continue challenging himself both academically and personally."
Community service: Founder and president of South Outreach Club; Youth and Government through the YMCA; People's Resource Center volunteer; Family Empowerment Center mission trip
Personal statement: "The issue I find most pressing is the selfishness of generation 'me.' The ignorance of my technologically savvy and often spoiled generation disgusts me. My classmates and I are privileged and live in bubbles. I want us to realize that there are people without the basic necessities of life. I want to spread awareness and inspire people to help others."
Sponsor's endorsement: "She is a wonderful individual with ability and intelligence to add to a brilliant future. She will succeed in anything she tries due to her work ethic, confidence, and motivation. Her realistic approach helps to keep her grounded while her goals and dreams remain high, but absolutely attainable."
Hometown: Glen Ellyn
Community service: Group Work Camps, service trip to Oklahoma and Minnesota; Brother David Darst Center, service trip to Chicago; St. James youth group; St. Mary's mission, Service trip to Tohatchi, New Mexico; Student Ambassadors; Sleep Out Saturday; Wheaton Mural Project; Feed My Starving Children
Personal statement: "When our group got back to camp a leader challenged us to think about the poverty of our high school community. The challenge made me realize that people I see every day face a poverty of loneliness, anxiety, and depression, yet often I had just walked right by without noticing. This insight challenged me to stop and see people through God's eyes rather than my own."
Sponsor's endorsement: "This young lady is simply amazing. She excels in all areas of her life - academics, athletics, leadership, and service. She has a servant's heart and wants to make a difference in the world."
Community service: Faith and Fellowship Service Project; Students Against Destructive Decisions; SADD Haunted House volunteer; Darst Retreat Center volunteer; Oklahoma Mission Trip; KAIROS retreat team leader
Personal statement: "'I have been drawn to service not only for the warm feeling that I experienced every time I helped someone, but also for the people themselves. I have never met any people as nice, as nonjudgmental, or as content with life as the people that I have met through service, and through these encounters, I have learned how I should better shape my life."
Sponsor's endorsement: "Not only is she a superb student, she has a heart of gold. Her spiritual life, her leadership, her character, and her sense of Christian values are among the finest that I have encountered in my 30 years in education. She truly reflects an example of peace and goodness to her peers."
Community service: ICN mentor and teaching assistant; Best Buddies; Edward Hospital volunteer; library volunteer; Student Council community service opportunities
Personal statement: "Volunteering has its own rewarding beauty, and I still have not found a better feeling than knowing that the effort I have given in volunteering has positively impacted someone's life. ... Volunteerism has been an aspect of my life even before high school, and now it has become my way of life because it is a very thrilling and enjoyable feeling to see a rewarding smile and impact on someone's life."
Sponsor's endorsement: "After spending many hours with Maryam, I found Maryam to be a very determined, involved, and intelligent young woman who exhibits many qualities that make her a strong leader ... In class, Maryam consistently contributed to classroom discussion and her interaction with peers was extremely positive; she was never reluctant to work with any type of student."
Community service: Sunrise Home Program; St. Thomas Hospice; Key Club; Best Buddies; New Beginnings peer mentoring program
Personal statement: "Volunteer work has taught me the important life lesson that education is not limited to what we learn in class or at work. It has given me the opportunity to better understand the world off campus, outside of the classroom where people less fortunate than me and my friends and family try to get by each day without things most of us take for granted. My volunteer work has allowed me to witness firsthand the remarkable strength and determination of the human spirit. I feel very fortunate to have played even a small role in helping children cope with their misfortunes and succeed in a world sometimes dulled and insensitive to their challenges and special needs."
Sponsor's endorsement: "As a member of our leadership teams, Taryn helps to lead conversations related to improving the environment and culture of Willowbrook High School."
Community service: Wheaton Warrenville South Student Council food drive organizer; DuPage Convalescent Center volunteer; St. Michael Religious Education Program classroom aid; organized a project to paint school's athletic wing
Personal statement: "We can accomplish more working together than any of us can on our own. It is important for all individuals to be charitable, work hard, and have compassion for others. I plan to continue my involvement in humanitarian projects throughout my life. I firmly believe that to those whom more is given, more is expected."
Sponsor's endorsement: "As a mature, intelligent, articulate young man, he has a bright future. His independence, initiative, warm personality, and strong work ethic will be his tools to success. Determined to succeed, he sets high standards for himself and more often than not reaches his goals. I am confident that he will flourish even in the most competitive educational setting and will thrive on the challenge."
Community service: United Students of Aurora Leaders; Organized a food drive for the Aurora Interfaith Food Pantry; Salvation Army Bell Ringing/Red Kettle Christmas Campaign; Kiwanis Club of Aurora's annual Indian Creek cleanup; Business Professionals of America's Santa's breakfast fundraiser; Business Professionals of America's annual Special Olympics fundraiser
Personal statement: "I have spent the past four summers working as a volunteer and counselor at a summer camp as a part of USA Leaders for kids ages 4 to 10. Each week presents new challenges, opportunities, and surprises and I am often amazed at the wit, intelligence, and confidence that elementary schoolers can display."
Sponsor's endorsement: "Uma is a very diverse person. She shows the ability to balance activities both in and out of the classroom. Throughout her activities, she is a consummate professional in all that she does."
Hometown: Glen Ellyn
Community service: Sunday Morning Miracle teacher; Glen Ellyn Community Resource Center tutor and assistant teacher; Student Leadership Board teen leader; DARE/Students for Students; One Voice Community Choir singer and volunteer
Personal statement: "Until that moment, I never realized the struggles that children face as they come to a new country and learn a new language. I also learned the similarities between cultures and how a little laughter leads to better relationships and learning."
Sponsor's endorsement: "She is a devoted leader among her peers and respected by students and staff. Quite simply, she is the most self-motivated, creative, energetic, compassionate, student leader that I have ever encountered. This student is on a mission to improve our school climate - promoting kindness and modeling respect and inclusion for everyone. She excels in volunteerism and sets high goals for her future."
Community service: Feedy For the Needy volunteer; St. Alexius Medical Center volunteer; Masjid Al-Huda Islamic Center Sunday school teaching assistant
Personal statement: "When I came upon the organization, Feedy For the Needy (FFN), it was a group of students that wanted to help at a soup kitchen. I immediately jumped at the opportunity. It was exactly what I was looking for - a way to meet those who were in need - both materialistically and, to a certain extent, psychologically. But nothing had prepared me to see the trauma these people had experienced. "
Sponsor's endorsement: "She is an individual who has consistently demonstrated her leadership capabilities in the most significant manner possible; by embodying the qualities and actions of a leader. ... Her efforts have resulted in shaping the direction of the student council to include a future that will consist of a generation of youth who have learned to give, without taking."
Community service: Founder and president of Feedy For the Needy; Helping Hand USA intern; Council of American International Relations-Muslim Youth Leadership Symposium member; GlenOaks Hospital volunteer
Hometown: Glendale Heights
Community service: Darfur Fashion Show fundraiser; Big Brothers/Big Sisters; New Beginnings; Mentors Program
Hometown: Oak Brook
Community service: Peer tutoring and group tutoring, North South Foundation, Hinsdale Community House Theatre, Kids Institute Program at IMSA, volunteer at Advocate Good Samaritan
Hometown: Hanover Park
Community service: DuPage Convalescent Center volunteer; helped raise money for Kids Against Hunger during "Up All Night" event; Club Interact member
Hometown: Carol Stream
Community service: Involved with Invisible Children, a group trying to raise public awareness about the war in Uganda
Community service: Edward Hospital volunteer; Adapted P.E. Volunteer; Big Buddies; Naperville Public Library; Rotary Interact volunteer; National Honor Society student tutor
Hometown: Downers Grove
Community service: Indian Boundary YMCA camp counselor; Indian Boundary YMCA youth league basketball coach; George Shimko Basketball Schools "shooting camp" assistant coach; National Honor Society student tutor; D.A.R.E. group leader
Community service: Mission work in the Dominican Republic; PADS Warming Center volunteer; CCSM Youth Group; leads weekly Bible study group
Community service: Alzheimer's Walk volunteer; participated in mission trip to Kentucky; Student Ministries volunteer; intramural basketball volunteer; Feed My Starving Children volunteer
Community service: Special Olympics coach; student coordinator of volunteers for Scarecrow Scramble 5K race; fundraising luncheon volunteer for St. Joan of Arc Youth Ministry; freshman mentor; St. Joan of Arc Youth Ministry retreat leader
Community service: Repeat Your Cleats founder; Our Lady of the Angels Mission food distribution; Elmhurst Peer Jury; National Honor Society service projects
Community service: Special Olympics volunteer; Peer Jury member; Hope's Circle of Friends volunteer; Senior Instructional Leadership
Community service: Student Advisory Council; J. Kyle Braid Leadership Foundation; Adaptive P.E. volunteer; mission trip and community service through Grace Pointe Church; ProPapa Missions America mission trip to Honduras
Community service: Woodridge Community Resource Center summer camp supervisor; St. Elizabeth Seaton Parish Christmas SHARE program; Christmas Drive Shopping Trip; Prentiss Creek Resource Center tutor; Our Lady of the Angels Food Pantry
Community service: St. Joseph Elementary School volleyball and track coach; organized seminars for World Financial Group; Kairos retreat organizer; peer ministry; student ambassador
Community service: The Baby Bottle Campaign; PADS; Locks of Love volunteer; Pink for Hope volunteer; Key Club; Habitat for Humanity Club
Community service: Coordinated holiday food drives for St. Thomas the Apostle Church; St. Thomas the Apostle retreat leader; Key Club board member; Volunteered to update and design the Web sites for the track and cross country teams; mission trips to Haiti and West Virginia
Hometown: West Chicago
Community service: Helped organize Key Club blood drive; helped organize tree trimming at the West Chicago Library with Girl Scout troop; aide at Camp Greenewood
Community service: Habitat for Humanity, Elmhurst Peer Jury, Elmhurst Hospital volunteer, Leadership Education and Development member, student council cabinet member
Hometown: West Chicago
Community service: Delnor Community Hospital messenger; Marianjoy Rehabilitation Hospital; Puente Del Pueblo tutor; People's Resource Center volunteer; Wayside Cross Ministries
Community service: St. Joan of Arc seventh-grade cheerleading coach; Sleep Out Saturday; Light the Night Walk; Lights of Lisle and Scarecrow Scramble volunteer
Community service: Student Advisory Council to the Illinois State Board of Education; assistant cheer coach with the Addison Rec Club; Miss Addison; Addison Trail High School Parent University; physics tutor; Pay It Forward; Student Advisory Team
Community service: Helped plan Relay For Life and Lauren Kiefer 5K run/walk; TLC Kids Camp volunteer; Willowbrook High School Key Club
Community service: Service projects in Chicago and the Dominican Republic through HYACKs, a College Church Youth Group; Bible study group leader; Feed My Starving Children volunteer
Community service: BCA Junior Hawks cheerleading coach; Puente del Pueblo tutor; Covenant Harbor Bible Camp counselor; World Relief refugee tutor
Community service: Saturday Buddies WDSRA; Breast Cancer "Swim for the Cure" volunteer; Special Olympics track team volunteer; Hope's Circle of Friends volunteer; helped with book distribution at the high school
Community service: Pay it Forward; volunteer work in Costa Rica; Special Olympics bowling volunteer; St. Phillip's religious education program volunteer; National Honor Society; peer mediation; Student Advisory Team
Hometown: Glen Ellyn
Community service: Glen Ellyn Children's Resource Center tutor; helped plan and raise money for St. Mark's mission trip to southeast Mexico; Illinois Coalition for Immigrant and Refugee Rights volunteer; voter registrar for the League of Women Voters of Glen Ellyn; St. Mark's Episcopal Church youth group
Community service: Student Youth Board for Cystic Fibrosis; Hinsdale Hospital volunteer; Notes to Neighbors Campaign for American Cancer Society; Annie Ryan Fun Run volunteer; Osteogenesis Imperfecta Golf Outing volunteer
Hometown: Wood Dale
Community service: Alexian Brothers Hospital volunteer; helped with events at school; temple volunteer
Community service: Edward Hospital volunteer; organized neighborhood food drive for Loaves and Fishes Food Pantry; participated in mission trip to rebuild flood-damaged homes in Iowa; student activities office volunteer
Community service: Mississippi Youth United Way day care volunteer; Top Teens of America social agency volunteer; Top Teens of America nursing home volunteer; Face to Face mentor
Full list of teams