For 39 years, the Rotary Club of Wilmette has honored local students with academic scholarships. Nominations and selections come from college counselors who praise the chosen students for leadership, responsibility, work ethic, creativity, and making the world a better place. This year, the Club awarded $15,000 to six students from New Trier High School, Loyola Academy, and Regina Dominican High School. Let us introduce you to the winners:
CHARLOTTE ANN LEE FONDREN is a New Trier High School student who has a deep passion for STEM AP classes in chemistry and physics and will study engineering at the University of Illinois in Champaign-Urbana. She has been a competitive swimmer for more than ten years and has won two triathlons.
AMAYAH ROWZEE is a New Trier High School student who remarkably balanced academics with a part-time job to help with family expenses. Her artistic ability is reflected in AP Art classes. As one of a few African American students in her school, she sought leadership roles that help others understand her experience. She will attend the University of Arizona.
MONICA YOO is a New Trier High School student who has a passion for languages and cultures of the world. As a Korean American, she speaks Korean at home, has long studied Chinese, and is now studying Japanese. Her advisor has praised her great sense of responsibility and family business work. Yoo also earned the Youth Who Excel award from the Korean American community and is planning to attend the University of Illinois in Champaign-Urbana.
KANASSANAN (NEIL) THAMMAVIJITDEJ is a New Trier High School student who moved from Thailand with his mother and two siblings in 2016. He has overcome the enormous academic challenges of a new school and new culture. Thammavijitdej is on the cross-country and track teams, a member of the Asian American Club and Global Voices Club, and attends Hope Chicago Church. The University of Illinois in Champaign-Urbana is Thammavijitdej’s destination.
DREW DI PAOLO is a student from Loyola Academy who loves history and English. He has demonstrated strong leadership skills and cares for others through the Arrupe Service program, volunteering with senior citizens at a local nursing home and other sites. Di Paolo received the Lacrosse Coaches Award for leadership and plans to attend Marquette University’s College of Business Administration, majoring in finance and business economics.
KATHLEEN RABBITT is a Regina Dominican High School who will attend Saint Louis University’s Doctor of Physical Therapy Program (DPT). Rabbitt was selected by Regina Dominican High School on the basis of her GPA and community service.