Today we are excited to begin introducing you to our 2022 scholarship recipients. All of these students submitted an application including an essay which were reviewed by members of our Board of Directors. We are able to do this thanks to the generous financial support of our alumni. To donate please got to WNHS-AA.org and thank you again to all who donated to make these scholarships possible.
2022 Scholarship Recipients
On the 50th Anniversary of Title IX becoming a reality, we are excited to share with you the 2022 recipient of the Anita Brechtel Falcon Spirit Award – Ella Brend
Before I begin I would like to say a great thank you to the Wheaton North Alumni Association for recognizing me for this award. My name is Ella Brend and I have been working hard to make an impact on Wheaton North for the past four years and am extremely honored to receive this award. Hearing all the wonderful qualities of Anita Brechtel then hearing my name called for this award was an ethereal moment. Throughout my time at Wheaton North I have been a part of the volleyball program and have dedicated many hours into making it a community where all ages feel welcome and connected. I have always loved the volleyball world since a young age, however, Wheaton North volleyball has given me some of my favorite memories from high school and some of my best friends. As I move into the next chapter I will be studying entrepreneurship and marketing in the Gies Business School at the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign. I’m excited to be involved in the school and continue volleyball with intramurals or the club team. My gratitude continues, as this scholarship will be put towards expanding my education. As I begin the next adventure, I will forever be thankful for everything the Wheaton North Alumni Association has done for me and I will continue to show my Falcon Pride!
Thank you again!
This year we introduced the Gil Lehman Music Scholarship and this is the first recipient – Jacob Chang
Jacob Chang best represents the attributes that the founding Music Director, Gil Lehman, embodied. Jacob has participated in music as a percussionist at Wheaton North for four years, and has played in the highest level concert band, Wind Ensemble, for three years. He is passionate about music and his enthusiasm is contagious. He has an excellent work ethic and makes everyone feel welcome not only in his section but in the entire band. He plans to continue pursuing music in college.
2022 Richard Helm Scholarship recipient Robbie Bonga
Hi, my name is Robbie Bonga and I am super excited and honored to receive the Helm Scholarship this year. I absolutely loved my four years of Wheaton North basketball and I learned so many great lessons along the way that I will cherish all my life. I have been going to the Wheaton North basketball camps since I was young, and from improving my game each year to the relationships that I formed along the way, Wheaton North basketball has been a major blessing to me. My grandfather was fortunate to know Coach Helm personally and helped out with his basketball ministry on numerous occasions. While Coach Helm has an awesome resume including being a longtime NBA assistant coach under Lenny Wilkens, head coach at Wheaton College, and the first athletic director and basketball coach at Wheaton North, what I find most impressive about Coach Helm is his strong faith. He left a lasting impression on every person that he interacted with, including my grandpa. I have gone to College Church in Wheaton my whole life and Coach Helm’s grandson was my youth pastor this past year. I have felt the ripple effects of his legacy over my life, and I am beyond honored to receive this scholarship and award after such a great man.
Next year I will be attending Baylor University in Waco, Texas. At Baylor, I will be in the Business Fellows program, an accelerated program, where I will study Mathematics, Finance, Economics, and Spanish. I hope to get involved early in a church nearby and possibly a Christian club or ministry. I will also participate in as many intramural sports as I can. I also hope to volunteer in community service projects or even coaching youth basketball and make a positive impact on the Waco community. Tuition costs are very high, so this scholarship is a huge blessing in making my time at Baylor more affordable. The money will go towards paying for my meal plan and housing freshman year. Thank you so very much!
2022 Wheaton North High School Alumni Association scholarship recipient Melia Klingler
I’d like to say thank you to the Wheaton North Alumni Association for supporting me as I continue my education at American University in Washington DC. During my time at Wheaton North, participating in the Interfaith Club and taking classes such as Sociology and AP Human Geography sparked my interest in different cultures and languages. At American University, I hope to continue to explore the intersections of gender, religion, language, and politics as I major in International Relations and a minor in Arabic.
One of my favorite parts of my time at Wheaton North was the opportunity I got to create the Poetry Club and experience the power of writing in building community. I’m so grateful to Mrs. Schmult, Mr. Leadaman, and Mr. Padera for supporting me as I developed as a writer. Words, unlike anything else, can create awareness, empathy, and change, something I hope to incorporate into my college experience, whether that be minoring in Creative Writing or writing for The Eagle (American University’s school newspaper).
I’m not 100% sure where my studies will lead me, but I know that, equipped with the skills I learned at Wheaton North, it’ll be an exciting and meaningful next step.
2022 Wheaton North High School Alumni Association scholarship recipient Sofia Dracopoulos
I am honored to have been awarded the alumni scholarship, as it recognizes all of the dedication I put forward in my 4 years at Wheaton North! I have been involved in over 20 extra curricula’s, and that number makes me very proud. I had made it my goal freshman year to be as involved as I possibly could, and it’s safe to say I have completed that goal. I am majoring in Environmental Science at the University of Arizona, and also minoring in Spanish. I plan on studying abroad to complement my major and minor, maybe in Costa Rica, so the scholarship will definitely help with that! I am also planning on joining the Environmental Club at my school just like I did at North! Thank you again!
2022 Wheaton North High School Alumni Association scholarship recipient Cheryl Martinez
Hi! My name is Cheryl Martinez, and I will be attending the University of Illinois at Urbana Champaign this fall to major in Industrial Engineering and then pursue a BS dual degree in Innovation, Leadership, and Engineering Entrepreneurship (ILEE). I could not have made it this far without the help of my community and family. I’ve learned to be courageous and resilient here at Wheaton North High School. I am grateful for every class, club, and sport that has extended their hand to me. Although I had no prior experience, I was allowed to try my best. Even if my first attempt failed, I was encouraged to keep trying until my efforts were valiant. I will continue to challenge myself for the next four years, and hopefully for Law School, where I dream of becoming an Immigration Lawyer/Entrepreneur. Thank you to the Wheaton North Alumni Association for providing me with a scholarship to which I’ll be the first person in my family to attend higher education.
2022 Wheaton North High School Alumni Association Boost scholarship recipient Jacob Sanders
Wheaton North has expanded my horizons ten fold in terms of my social, academic, and sports life. From wrestling to cross country to gymnastics I have been a part of many of Wheaton North athletic teams. I have gotten to meet many new friends through these programs and loved every minute of it. Wheaton North has also shown me the importance of academics and I have fallen in love with the math and physics programs along the way. This made Engineering an easy choice. I will be attending the University of Iowa in the fall as an undeclared engineering major and I could not be more excited. I am so grateful for this opportunity and cannot wait to update everyone come next fall.
2022 Wheaton North High School Alumni Association Boost scholarship recipient Omnia Maymo
To start, I’d like to thank the Wheaton North Alumni Association for giving me this scholarship. It means so much to me and cannot thank you enough. Wheaton North has always been a place where I feel I could explore my passions and be surrounded by those who support and truly acknowledge me which in turn allowed me to blossom into the person I am today. Every single club that I’ve been part of has served as a place for me to explore and meet new people and grow close to them. Thanks to my time and Wheaton North, I’ve learned how to truly be part of a community and give back to those around me. I’m very happy to say that this fall I will be attending College of Dupage to study Chemistry, a subject that I grew to love because of my wonderful chemistry teacher at Wheaton North.
2022 Wheaton North High School Alumni Association Boost scholarship recipient Madeline Long
Wheaton North has had a profound impact on me in every aspect of my life. From the moment I set foot on campus, I knew that I was loved and cared for. My teachers, peers, and the entirety of faculty were welcoming and open, and they were always willing to help. Their support and genuineness inspired me to pursue academic excellence, never settling for good enough. I was pushed beyond my limits, and when I fell, Wheaton North pulled me up, dusted me off, and walked alongside me the rest of the way. North has been a second home for me, and I am grateful for the ways in which it grew me up. I’m told that I’m a lifelong learner, and I attribute this quality, this deep rooted passion, to Wheaton North High School.
In the upcoming fall, I will be attending the University of Notre Dame. Under the dome, I intend to double major in history and anthropology along a pre-law track. I’m expectant of the future set before me, and I sincerely believe that the best is yet to come. Thank you Wheaton North, it has been a pleasure.
2022 Wheaton North High School Alumni Association Boost scholarship recipient Siham Hussein
First and foremost I would like to thank Wheaton north alumni association for their generosity for honoring me to be one of the recipients of this scholarship. When I applied to this Scholarship I didn’t have high hopes that I was going to receive it, and once I did it really made me stop doubting myself and realize that I could achieve anything through prayer, hard work and determination. I can proudly say that throughout all my four years at Wheaton north, Wheaton North has had a huge positive impact on me in so many ways. Not only the people that I was surrounded with who uplifted me and helped me through rough times that made high school a better experience, but also the staff member’s whom pushed their students to become the best version of themselves everyday. It’s a blessing to have teachers and staff member’s that deeply care about their students and motivate them all the time. I was constantly motivated by numbers of staff at Wheaton North, some that even I never had as teachers that told me that I could achieve anything I set my mind into if I put the time and effort into it, and receiving this scholarship is a prime example of that. Next school year, I will be attending Benedictine University, where I will be majoring in Biology to pursue my dream job of becoming a Physician. Also since I am bilingual, I am also planning minoring in Arabic as well to help improve myself in the language, and also help interpret for those who speak it as well. Once again, I would like to thank the Wheaton North Alumni for this scholarship, which I am beyond grateful for.
2022 Wheaton North High School Alumni Association Boost scholarship recipient Alejandro Zuniga-Avila.
To begin with, attending Wheaton North has been a huge life changing experience. During my freshman year of high school I have had to deal with difficult moments that I wouldn’t wish upon anyone else. In addition, my grandma passed away which meant a lot to me and my family. Moreover I had to leave school for 2 weeks to attend her funeral in Mexico. And when I came back to school I was taken away by how my teachers truly cared for me and supported me after what happened to me. As a result, I was very grateful and thankful for having some amazing teachers that were supportive and motivated me to do good. Also I was surprised to see that my World Civ teacher Mr. Connor took the time of his life to give me a sorry letter which made me realize that I had someone who not only helped academically but also emotionally in which I am very blessed to be in this school.
Also Wheaton North has impacted my life to better not only emotionally but also academically because not many students know how good of a school Wheaton North is compared to schools. Besides, I’m very glad to attend a high school where there are no gang related issues, students don’t have to be afraid to go to school, and teachers don’t mistreat their students. Furthermore, the teachers want you to succeed and are very nice and helpful.
Finally I plan to study Architecture in the University of Illinois at Chicago in the Fall of 2022. I couldn’t say how grateful I am for this scholarship and those who believed I deserve this scholarship. The fact that I had applied to this scholarship and always prayed to win this award means a lot to me and I couldn’t be anymore thankful for those who chose me. This scholarship will come in great need for my education and I hope to impact communities as an Architect and hopefully be able to achieve what others couldn’t before me.