April 19, 2007

A Tribute to Hard Work Club Guadalupano Honors Hispanic Students for Grades, Community Service

Each year, the Club Guadalupano of Elgin honors outstanding graduating Hispanic students and two adults who have contributed to the community.

Its 13th Annual Latino Awards Banquet was Saturday night. All of these students rank in the high percentages of their high school classes, but also excel in community service.

Zoilo Santiago Memorial Awards

- Micaela Shawlee, Bartlett High School

Service, activities: Coordinated volunteer group of students to work at local pet store to help care for animals awaiting adoption; solicited donations for the Leukemia/Lymphoma Society and Provena St. Joseph Hospital; captained the 42-person Bartlett Health Occupation Students of America team, which participated in and raised more than $1,000 for the Chicago Walk for Autism Research.

Future: Plans to attend Elmhurst College to major in chemistry/ pre-veterinary medicine.

- Emmanuel Topete, St. Edward High School

Service, activities: Captained varsity football team, earned varsity letter in track, served as assistant coach in Elgin Youth Football League

Future: Has been accepted at University of Illinois, Northern Illinois University and Purdue University

- Margarita Rosiles, Elgin High School

Service, activities: Peer tutor who contributed more than 150 hours; National Honor Society; Spanish National Honor Society; Hispanic Club; MESA - Mathematics, Engineering, Science Achievement; track and field, Key Club, Science Club and Spanish Club

Future: University of California Long Beach, major in international business.

- Stephanie Garcia, Elgin High School

Service, activities: Logged more than 600 hours as volunteer at St. Alexis Hospital, where she translates for Spanish speakers; works with bilingual students at Sheridan Elementary School; secretary of National Honor Society; president of Spanish Club; president of Foreign Language National Honor Society; and captain and MVP of varsity bowling team.

- Babilonia Bohorquez, Streamwood High School; worked her way from bilingual placement in elementary school to advanced placement high school curriculum

Service, activities: Varsity soccer, Health Occupation Students of America, tutoring, Certified Nurse Assistant Program, stage crew, member of International Thespian Society, works part-time.

Future: Accepted at several schools, including Dominican University

- Pedro Vallejo, Streamwood High School

Service, activities: President of Health Occupation Students of America, National Honor Society, chess club, Mathletes, football, volleyball, logged more than 500 hours as peer tutor.

Future: A recipient of both Honor and Brechtel scholarships from Dominican University, major in pre-med.

Drama/Art Achievement Award

- Gabriela Velez, Streamwood High School

Service, activities: International Thespian Society, lead role in spring musical, Drama Club, soccer, internship with Gymkhana Studios, volunteered for production of "Cinderella."

Future: Loyola University, major business.

William Castillo Memorial Awards for School Community Service

- (Alexandra) Giselle De La Rosa, Elgin High School; recognized as Illinois State Scholar, Illinois State University Minority High School Scholar, All America Scholar.

Service and Activities: At the end of her junior year, was accepted into the National High School Summer Research Apprentice Program. Presented her work at National Institutes of Health Annual Research Symposium in front of three judges and more than 100 doctors. Her work so impressed the director of minority health research that he offered to fund her research for the entire school year. Participates in National Honor Society; Spanish Club; Community Leadership Club; poms squad; marching, pep, jazz and concert bands; Madrigal Brass Choir; Health Occupation Students of America; North Suburban Mathematics Team; World Youth in Science and Engineering; and varsity badminton. Performs in Elgin Youth Symphony Orchestra, coordinated World Vision's "30 Hour Famine" and created and organized "Shinding for the Needy." For the past eight months, part of National High School Student Research Apprentice Program at Stroger Hospital in Chicago.

Future: In October, plans to work in Honduras in a clinic for three months. Fall 2008, plans to attend Ball State University.

Elgin Community College Trustee Academic Scholarship

- Maria Guadalupe Arroyo, Elgin High School

Service and activities: Spends early release hour in English Language Learner resource room tutoring freshmen in math; volunteers at Sheridan Elementary School assisting Environmental Science teacher; Hispanic Club, Fresh Start and Peer Tutoring.

- Cintia Davila, Elgin High School

Honor: United States Achievement Academy National Award

Proudest achievement: Created Web site for Mexican singer Myriam when she was 14 years old. The Web site became Myriam's official Web site.

Service, activities: German Honor Society, Peer Tutoring and youth program at her church.

Future: Elgin Community College, transfer to pursue Computer Information Systems studies.

- Brian Vazquez, Elgin High School

Academic honor: Elgin Teacher's Association

Activities, service: Synergy Club, Peer Tutoring

Future: Elgin Community College to become dental assistant, transfer to pursue dentistry.

- Guadalupe Aguilera, Larkin High School

Academic honor: Sustained 4.0 GPA after only three years in bilingual program.

Service, activities: President of La Raza and Scholastic Bowl, Math Team, National Honor Society, Hispanic Cultural Club, Peer Tutoring, volunteered at Community Crisis Center as interpreter.

Future: Elgin Community College and then pursue architectural studies.

- Denisse Ayala, Larkin High School

Academic honor: Sustained 4.0 after only three years in bilingual program.

Service and activities: Sabor Latino; concert, chamber and symphony orchestra; French Club; student government; volunteers at ECC and Gail Borden libraries and at hospital.

Future: Elgin Community College

- Brenda Torres, Larkin High School

Academic honor: Excelled in two years at Larkin, which she attended after migrating to United States. In civics, received highest score on Constitution test. Also involved in Hispanic Cultural Club, WACO (a charity gift giving project) and is an Elgin Rotary Honoree.

Proudest accomplishment: Living in United States, particularly notable because her parents are not here with her.

Future: Elgin Community College, then transfer to major in psychology.

- Erica Aguilera, Larkin High School

Service, activities: 2006 National Student Conference nominee, a 2006 National Youth Leadership Forum on Technology delegate and a 2006 (Lead America) Congressional Student Leadership Conference nominee, La Raza Club, Hispanic Cultural Club, Fresh Start Peer Tutoring, Math Team and National Honor Society. Volunteers at a nursing home and soup kitchen.

Future: Elgin Community College, then pursue computer science studies.

- Bianka Catalan, Streamwood High School

Service, activities: Student council treasurer and president, Peer Tutoring, basketball, guitarist at church and Sunday school volunteer.

Future: Elgin Community College, then transfer to pursue accounting.

Elgin Community College Foundation Scholarships

- Andrea Reyes, Bartlett High School

Academic honor: A high honors student with a 3.67 GPA on a 4.0 scale.

Service, activities: Volunteers at her church and hospital, poms squad, tae kwon do.

Future: Elgin Community College then transfer to pursue Business.

- Blanca Gonzalez, Larkin High School

Academic honor: Her geometry projects, which integrate her love of art and drawing.

Service, activities: Does clinical work for the Certified Nursing Assistant program; soccer; sewing; Life Choices Club; office page in bilingual department; church volunteer.

Future: Elgin Community College, transfer to pursue nursing.

- Martha Jimenez Jasso, Elgin High School

Achievement: Worked her way from bilingual placement in elementary education to an advanced placement in high school. Fluent in three languages - Spanish, English and French.

Service, activities: Helps tutor students in English and math, president of French Club, cheerleading (three years), National Honor Society, Foreign Language Honor Society, Chamber Choir, volunteer at the Elgin Fox Trot, member of Students for Immigration Justice.

Future: Major in international relations, minor in linguistics.

Les Lemke Memorial Award For Community Service

- Shirley Sadjadi: First generation Iranian American, has practiced law for 17 years. Specialty, immigration law for 11 of those 17 years.

Service: American Immigration Lawyers Association, advocating on behalf of immigrants in Chicago suburbs; Centro de Informacion and Renz Center boards; Elgin Hispanic Network; Downtown Neighborhood Association of Elgin.

Honors: Doug Hoeft Award for Community Service, nominated for YWCA Racial Justice Award. She and her husband received award from Downtown Neighborhood Association for upper story renovation of their building in Elgin.

Family: Husband, Wilde Sotomayor, and two children, Gabriela and Nathan.

Joaquin Camacho Memorial Award For Community Service

- Clem Mejia, served for 20 years as Kane County regional superintendent of schools and first Hispanic elected regional superintendent in the state of Illinois. Club Guadalupano recognizes Mejia for 35 years of dedication to K-12 public education as a teacher, coach and as both a school and district level administrator.

Service: Governor's Literacy Board, Governor's Commission on revising Illinois School Code, Attorney General's Commission on Gangs and Drugs in Illinois, past president of Illinois Association of County Officials, served as past president of the Northern Illinois University Education Alumni Board, past president of Phi Delta Kappa (NIU chapter), and vice-chairman of Kane County Child Advocacy Board. Adjunct professor at Aurora University, past Area I Chairman of Illinois Association of Regional School Superintendents and past president of the board and current member of the Association of Individual Development. Founding member of Elgin Gang and Drug Task Force and Elgin Hispanic Network.

Family: Wife, Susan, three children: Benjamin, Monica and David.

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