The WNHS-AA is VERY proud to introduce the recipients of the 2020 Alumni Scholarship. I’m sure you will agree with us that these graduating seniors are very worthy students. Here are the bios that will introduce you to these very impressive young men and women. Congratulations to all, and thank you again to all who donated to make this scholarship possible.
2020 Scholarship Winners
2020 Wheaton North High School Alumni Association scholarship recipient Walker Rickord
Walker Rickord who had this to say about receiving his scholarship:
2019 “Boost” scholarship recipient Julie Van Ro Par
This is what Julie had to say about receiving her award:
2019 Scholarship Winners
2019 Wheaton North High School Alumni Association scholarship recipient Calla Maher
Calla Maher who had this to say about receiving her scholarship:
This fall I will be attending Emory University in Atlanta, Georgia. I hope to double major in economics and political science. After my undergraduate degree, I plan to attend law school and one day be an attorney. At Emory, I can’t wait to make new friends and start my classes this fall! I’m especially excited for Wonderful Wednesdays, a tradition at Emory in which the quad is filled with food tables and music every Wednesday and the students can relax in between classes. I’m also hoping to work with their after school tutoring program for elementary schoolers. I tutor now, and can’t wait to continue that at Emory. This scholarship allows me to attend a college that checks all of my boxes: academically, socially, and thanks to the Wheaton North alumni, financially. Thanks to this scholarship, I won’t have to spend my college years stressing over student loans and I can focus on my studies. Thank you all for helping me pay for my education! It truly means the world to me.
2019 Wheaton North High School Alumni Association scholarship recipient Margaret Allen
This is what Margaret had to say about receiving her award:
To the Wheaton North High School Alumni Association,
Hello! This is Margaret Allen, a winner of the 2019 Wheaton North Alumni Association Scholarship. To begin, I would like to thank you for allowing me the opportunity to achieve a higher education and successful future. I truly appreciate your contribution to my ensuing academic and professional careers. This fall I will be attending the University of Notre Dame, and I will be majoring in Biological Sciences with concentrations in Medical Neurobiology and Biomedical Sciences with a minor in Compassionate Care in Medicine and a pre-professional medical track. I am very excited for the opportunities this university will provide for me in academics, extracurriculars, and professional paths. I plan on getting involved in medical societies, continuing my volunteerism within community outreach programs in South Bend, and starting scientific research. I hope to direct my research towards the neurobiology field, and am looking forward to the multitude of scientific offerings that the university has. I am incredibly enthusiastic to start this new chapter. Once again, I want to personally thank you for enabling my education and choosing to support me in my continuous search for greater knowledge. I look forward to updating you with my future. Thank you for your assistance and time.
2019 “Boost” scholarship recipient Sarah Kamara
The Boost Scholarship is funded anonymously by a WNHS Alumni who wanted to give students a needed “boost” as they attend college. Sarah Kamara came to America at age five as an African refugee. She faced many challenges but with the help of a supportive host family as well as friends and the WNHS community her grades went from nearly failing to all A’s and B’s. Sarah has been accepted into the nursing program at George Williams College and this is what she had to say:
I have a dream of becoming a nurse. After much research, I determined that George Williams College in Lake Geneva was the right program for me.
The nursing program at GWC is small, which allows them to teach students in a simulated medical environment. They believe strongly in experiential learning, and for such a person that learns by doing as I do, this is an ideal learning environment for me.
I feel very fortunate to have been accepted into this excellent nursing program, and I am confident, as they are, of my future success.
2019 Helm Scholarship recipient Jacob Schauer
This scholarship is funded by one of our alumni. Here is what Jacob has to say:
The Helm Award Scholarship is important to me for many reasons. I am going to Wheaton College next year to play basketball, and my dad is the current Wheaton College Men’s Basketball coach. I understand the importance of people like Dick Helm and Randy Pfund and how their legacy has been passed down through generations of their own families and generations of Wheaton North and Wheaton College basketball figures. I understand what they mean to Wheaton North and Wheaton College. It was and will always be an honor to be a recipient of an award which is named after someone so important to my high school’s history and my future college’s history. Additionally, my experience in the Wheaton North basketball program was very memorable and had a great impact on my life. The award and the scholarship is very cool, but I hope one day the award can become a simple reminder of the amazing memories I had and the people and coaches that touched my life. I had an unforgettable experience in the program, and the award solidifies those memories. I am very honored to win the Helm Award Scholarship not only for the scholarship and recognition, but also for the people who came before me who made my Wheaton North Basketball experience possible in the first place.
2019 Rick Vogel award scholarship recipient Ben Lemp
This scholarship is also funded by an alumni who wanted to honor our classmate Rick. Here is what Ben had to say:
I would like to start with how grateful I am to the coaches, family and friends who got me this far with their dedication to the sport of wrestling. Next I would like to deeply thank the Vogel family for letting me represent their legacy at the collegiate level. This scholarship I am receiving will go directly towards my college education. I am truly grateful to have this opportunity to represent Rick Vogel and all he valued. I will do my best to be the embodiment of him and his tremendous passion for wrestling and life. Once again I would like to thank you for your generosity and commitment to wrestling.
2018 Scholarship Winners
2018 Wheaton North High School Alumni Association scholarship recipient Benjamin Fefferman
. Benjamin Fefferman will be attending the University of Chicago starting this summer. He has already taken classes there (as an intern) and is well on his way to a future in medicinal chemistry or molecular engineering. As Ben explains his experience at WNHS:
“I am extremely appreciative of the learning environment that Wheaton North High School has provided for me! As a student who has been taking math and science classes at Wheaton North since middle school I was given support and guidance that allowed me to advance in my studies. I also owe some very special teachers and my academic counselor gratitude and admiration! My education and this scholarship from the Wheaton North High School Alumni Association will help me to further pursue my studies in the hopes of making serious contributions in STEM & medicine. I am a proud Wheaton North alumnus, and I am very grateful for WN and this scholarship!”
2018 “Boost” scholarship recipient Coral Gonzalez
Coral is an extraordinary young woman who has worked several jobs since entering WNHS to assist her family financially. The management at McDonalds was so impressed with her that they sent her to management training and (taking on additional class work and testing) she became certified. Throughout high school she worked several jobs and at one point would take a taxi to and from school after her mother and siblings moved out of the district. Today Coral intends to attend College of DuPage to fulfill her dream of a degree in Criminal Justice.
2018 “Boost” scholarship recipient Axel Muro Vasquez
Axel Muro Vasquez had this to say: Attending Wheaton North high school has meant a lot to me. It has been a life changing
experience. I attended an elementary school in Chicago before moving to Carol Stream. Attending that elementary school was the most unpleasant experience I have ever had. Most teachers would mistreat the students and the school was placed in a shady environment. Sometimes I look back and compare that elementary school to Wheaton North and I could see that I was lucky I had the opportunity to go to a good school. I’m glad I was able to attend a high school where the students don’t have to deal with gang related issues, where the students don’t have to be afraid to walk to school or where the teachers don’t mistreat the students. All the staff at Wheaton North are very kind and helpful. The teachers actually want you to succeed in life. I plan to go to College of Dupage for two years, then transfer to a different college. Coming from a family with very little money, this scholarship will be very helpful. With this scholarship I will be able to easily pay for a semester at College of Dupage, which will provide me with more time to save up for the rest of the semesters.”
2017 Scholarship Winners
2017 Wheaton North High School Alumni Association scholarship recipient Warisha Aslam
We are excited and proud to introduce you to our 2016 scholarship recipients. Warisha Aslam was involved in so many activities as a student it isn’t possible to list all of them. She was a member of several Honor Societies (6 to be exact) as well as serving as an editor on the Falcon Flyer, membership on the speech team and a role in one act plays. Along with maintaining her honor level grades she volunteered as a tutor in various capacities. She still found time to also volunteer for the League of Women Voters and on political campaigns. She will be attending the University of Illinois – Urbana with the intention of getting a BA in Political Science. She hopes to attend law school and one day run for political office.
2018 update from Warisha:
I was the receipt of the Wheaton North High School Alumni Association Scholarship for the year 2017. As the receipts for 2018 are announced, I would like to once again ardently thank the Association for their generosity and encouragement, which allowed me to fervently seek my dream of scholarly excellence with vigor. I am currently a freshman at Purdue University with a Political Science major and Psychology minor. I aspire to pursue law. With each of my academic accomplishments, my gratitude towards the Alumni Association grows further. I hope that the Alumni Association will continue to support promising Wheaton North seniors in their pursuit of character development, purpose and progress.
2019 update from Warisha:
I was the Alumni Association’s Scholarship recipient for the year 2017. I am sharing an update to display the positive impact of your contributions in action. I am a rising Junior at Purdue University with a political science major and psychology minor. Over the last 2 years I have had the opportunity to conduct research regarding ableism’s impact on disability policy, which I presented at the Purdue Undergraduate Research Conference.
I am a member of Pi Sigma Alpha (National Political Science Honor Society), through which I presented my research on immigration policy at the Pi Sigma Alpha Research Conference in Washington DC. Additionally, I am a Dean’s Ambassador for the College of Liberal Arts, a Residential Advisor (RA) and I volunteer at an Alzheimer’s home. In the future, I aspire to attend law school with a focus in public policy and currently, I am working as a Congressional Intern for Senator Durbin’s Chicago Office. The encouragement which I received from the Alumni Association in the form of the scholarship is something that I carry with me everyday and remain thankful for. I hope the Association will continue to support our Falcons as they soar to new heights.
2017 Wheaton North High School Alumni Association scholarship recipient Hana Bayssa Tesfaye
Our second scholarship recipient is Hana Bayssa Tesfaye. Hana was active in track, cross country, speech and one act plays . She is a very active volunteers at her church where she works with the youth group and teaches the Amharic language. She will be attending DePaul University with the intention of receiving a degree in Computer Science. In looking back at her time at WNHS she stated she wishes she had focused less on grades and more on school and community involvement. She also stated that learning takes many forms, not always in the classroom. We are honored and proud to support such a bright and promising young lady.
2017 “Boost” scholarship recipient Juan Antonio Lopez
Several weeks ago we were contacted by an alumni who wanted to set up a $2500. scholarship to assist a student who wouldn’t qualify for other scholarships. The Alumni (who asked to remain anonymous) asked us to chose a senior who may have struggled in high school but a scholarship would boost their chances of continuing their education. One of our applicants fit the criteria. Juan Antonio Lopez shared that initially he was involved with a bad group of friends and didn’t take school seriously. An opportunity to visit some colleges opened his eyes to what he could achieve. Juan buckled down, starting meeting with a tutor and raised his GPA a full point in less that a year. He also expressed a desire to be a positive role model to his younger siblings. We are really excited to award the first “Boost” Scholarship to this fine young man.
2018 Update from Juan:
Last year an alumni contacted us to set up a new scholarship which we decided to call the “Boost” award. It is intended to assist students who would benefit from an additional boost to their academic pursuits. Our first recipient was Juan Lopez. The same anonymous donor has decided to donate an additional $2500. for Juan’s second year at College of DuPage. This is what Juan had to say about his well earned assistance.
“Well first off I’d like to thank you guys so much for this kind of opportunity. Not every student gets this kind of acknowledgement. This chance has gotten me far this year. It has opened many doors for me. And impacted me positively this year. This scholarship has helped me focus less on work, and give school my all. I appreciate you guys for helping me out. I hope I can help someone out with the same opportunity in the future. ”
2016 Scholarship Winners
The WNHS-AA is VERY proud to introduce the recipients of the 2016 Alumni Scholarship. I’m sure you will agree with us that graduating senior William Marchese and Saniya Qadirare are very worthy students. Here are the bios that will introduce you to this very impressive young man and woman. Congratulations William and Saniya and thank you again to all who donated to make this scholarship possible.
Essay by: William Marchese
I am so honored to have received this scholarship. It will help me to afford Swarthmore College: the small liberal arts college in Philadelphia I will be attending next year. At Swarthmore, I plan on taking a wide variety of classes, and to pursue a double major in either art history, political science, sociology/anthropology, history, gender studies, or interpretation theory (two of these six!). Also, Swarthmore is distinctive for its rigorous honors program; honors seminars are capped at 8 students, go well past their official end time, and have external examinations conducted by scholars unaffiliated with the college. Challenging? Yes. Thrilling? Absolutely. I am honored to have the opportunities for such academic growth.
While not in class, I hope to be quite active on campus. I intend to join many of Swarthmore’s political groups—Democratic Socialists, Queer Alliance, Environmental Justice—as well as to write for the newspaper and intern at local campaigns and art museums. In general, I hope to embody theory and practice while in college, applying classroom discourse to my community and country.
Although I don’t have any specific plans for after college, I know that I want to improve people’s lives. Politically, this could be through conventional means like public office, or activism and organizing. Alternatively, I would also love to work in museums, journalism, or academia.
I could wax poetic about my future plans for ages, but what’s most important is that I say this: Thank you. I cannot wait to explore my academic passions and advocate my causes—your support has helped to make my collegiate dreams a reality. For this, I am profoundly grateful.
Essay by: Saniya Qadir
Dear Wheaton North High School Alumni Members,
When I moved from Canada three years ago, I thought I was going to be all alone, having to start all over again. I did not know what the future would hold, who I would be, or how my life was going to change. I only knew one thing: I knew that I was ready and excited to learn and explore the world; I had this extreme passion and drive to learn. When Wheaton North High School opened her doors to me, she fostered this passion for learning and made me discover that I have the potential to change the world. I looked at every opportunity as a way to grow myself, give back to the community that gave me a new life when I first moved, and share my thirst for knowledge with others. As such, in my high school, I served as a Freshman Academic Advisor helping students make an easy transition to high school, an Ambassador, the Vice- President of Future Health Professionals, the Vice-President of the Mathematics Honors Society, and was involved in many other clubs and honor societies. I also made efforts to give back to my community, volunteering at the DuPage Convalescent Center and being a teaching assistant for the Mini Medical School at Edwards Plainfield Hospital. When I was recognized for my work in the Daily Herald Newspaper for the DuPage Leadership Team and received a VolunTeen Scholarship from the Convalescent Center, I knew I was not alone. I had the world’s support with me encouraging me to strive for the best.
I was accepted to the Lake Erie College of Osteopathic Medicine’s seven year Early Acceptance Program. This program guarantees my seat in medical school provided that I maintain the required GPA after my three years at Lewis University. Therefore, in the fall, I will be going to Lewis University. By pursuing an undergraduate pre-medical degree, I will continue to grow, carrying with me the lessons that I have learned. I want to use my education, knowledge, and experience to become a humble person and hopefully one day as a doctor, I want to use this to improve the lives of others. I am very excited for the future and I will never forget Wheaton North and the support they gave me. I will cherish and remember all the lessons that have gotten me thus far to strive and reach further. Thank you so much for your scholarship, you have gotten me one step closer to my dream!
2015 Scholarship Winner
Essay by: Marina Dimas
Dear Wheaton North High School Alumni Association Members,
2014 Scholarship Winner
Essay by: Katherine Shikany
Wheaton North has been my home away from home for the past four years. In fact, there are many days during which I am at WNHS more than I am at my house! But there is nowhere I would rather be given its welcoming, opportunity-rich community that we have all been lucky to be a part of at some point in time.
First and foremost, my time at Wheaton North has been focused on academics. Wheaton North possesses a talented array of teachers that have taught me so much during the past four years. After taking many AP and honors classes, studying for hours on end, and working very hard, I am excited to report that I accomplished my goal of becoming a member of the Class of 2014’s Top 5%! Additionally, I am a member of three honor societies, an Illinois State-Scholar, and was voted English Student of the Month by the English Department. My favorite subjects include Biology, Spanish, English, and Psychology.
Throughout my Wheaton North experience I have been involved in various extracurricular activities. I am a four-year varsity competitor in cross country and soccer, two sports that I have participated in since elementary school. I was voted Most-Valuable-Athlete in cross country my sophomore, junior, and senior years, consistently performing well at meets and leading my teammates as a team captain my junior and senior years. Since freshman year, I have also been recognized as a member of the All-Conference Academic Team, a group comprised of athletes that excel in the classroom. Additionally, I write for our school’s newspaper, The Falcon Flyer, mentor new students with New Student Welcoming Committee, volunteer at school events through Falcon Ambassadors, and serve as the President of our school’s chapter of National Honor Society. Volunteering is very important to me, and I love helping the community whether it entails working with charities or leading Freshman Orientation. Tutoring students in Spanish is one of my favorite activities, for I can simultaneously give back to the community while preparing for studying Spanish in college to prepare for what I hope is my future in the medical field. This year, I co-founded a Future Health Professionals of America club at my school to educate peers about careers in the medical field. But don’t worry! Although I was voted Most-Involved (and Best Hair!) by my senior class, I somehow I still found some time to be a teenager (superfanning at football/basketball games, watching Netflix, and spending time with family and friends). Two of my favorite moments at Wheaton North were rushing Rexilius Field after beating Wheaton-Warrenville South in football in 2013 and being crowned Homecoming Queen!
In the fall, I will be attending Washington University in St. Louis to study Biology and Spanish as a Pre-Med student. Sometimes I have to pinch myself! I feel extremely blessed to be able to attend one of the strongest universities in the nation. I am very excited to venture out into the world outside of Wheaton, but I will forever cherish the influence and memories of Wheaton North.