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Glancer Magazine

CONGRATULATIONS | Outstanding High School Seniors Honored with 2020 Rotary Pursuit of Life Awards


The Rotary Club of Naperville announced the recipients of its annual Rotary Pursuit of Life Awards. This year The Rotary Clubs of Naperville awarded 14 outstanding local high school seniors a total of $32,000 in scholarships. The club would normally host a luncheon for the honorees and their families and friends to present the awards, but COVID 19 changed all that.

“This year we had to get creative.” said Club President, Rachel Ossyra. “We wanted to find a way to recognize the students, celebrate their achievements, and thank our scholarship supporters.”

In lieu of the annual luncheon, RCN will host a first-ever online celebration, with recipients, families, friends, distinguished community members, educators and Rotary members. Honorees will have yard signs placed at their homes. The club will use social media and videos to give each recipient the opportunity to be acknowledged and feel special.

“We congratulate these deserving seniors on their achievements and their commitment to serving others.” said Scholarship Chair, Molly Martin. “They have each demonstrated an ability to work hard in school, inspire their peers and devote significant effort to better their schools and their local communities. The Class of 2020 will miss out on many of their senior year celebrations. We need to let them know that the current situation does not diminish their accomplishments.”

The Gene Drendel Scholarship honors Gene Drendel who was a distinguished Rotarian, a long-time and well-respected educator, and life-long resident of Naperville. This scholarship is awarded to a high school senior who demonstrates athletic excellence while providing service to the community. This year’s recipient of the Gene Drendel Scholarship is Isaac Noren, Naperville Central High School.

The Service Above Self Scholarship is awarded annually to two high school seniors who successfully demonstrate a substantial commitment to school and community service. This year’s recipients of the Service Above Self Scholarships are Alexa Howard and Anushka Sharma, both attend Neuqua Valley High School.

The Frank Slocumb Scholarship is an award for students who currently attend, or will be attending, one of the following local community colleges: College of DuPage, Joliet Junior College or Waubonsee Community College. Recipients are to be of high moral character, active in multiple community service organizations and have high financial need. This year’s recipient is Morgan Carioscia, Metea Valley High School.

The Make a Difference North Central College Scholarship is awarded to two local high school seniors who will be attending North Central College, have excelled in leadership and service, and who display the spirit of Rotary. This year’s recipients are Abby Granato, Neuqua Valley High School and Simona Hudakova, Naperville North High School. The At-Hope Scholarship is awarded to high school seniors who have overcome a challenge over the course of their high school career. This year’s recipients are Alayna Healy, Naperville North High School, Shaurya Mathur, Neuqua Valley High School, Samantha Wigfall, Waubonsie Valley High School, Elise Kim, Metea Valley High School, Quinn Dzieginski, Naperville Central High School, Juan David Campolargo, Benet Academy, Verae Fields, Waubonsie Valley High School.

The Rotary Club of Naperville Sunrise “Above and Beyond” Scholarship is awarded to a high school senior who has an exemplary history of service and a lifelong commitment to making a difference in the lives of others. This year’s recipient is Megan McFadden, Naperville Central High School.