Three $1,500 DPCF Scholarship Winners Honored at Recent Luncheon

More than 20 applicants from local high schools applied for awards

The Des Plaines Community Foundation recently presented three $1,500 scholarships to local-area college students who applied to their scholarship program this June.

“We believe that helping our young adults obtain a collegeeducation is an investment, not only in the future of ouryouth, but also in the future of Des Plaines,” said Rosemary Argus, Executive Director of the Foundation. “Thescholarships will help bring a college degree within reachfor students who need it most.”

The scholarship luncheon was held at the Des Plaines-based Alliant Credit Union at 11545 W. Touhy Avenue onWednesday, August 14th.

Argus told luncheon attendees the DPCF was very excited about awarding these scholarships and certificates of achievement because this was the first year the foundation had presented the scholarship awards all on its own.

Last year the foundation granted four $1,500 scholarships in conjunction with Oakton Community College and Harper College.

The scholarship committee trustees Rich Holke, Kimberly Ball, Rick Bulthuis, Sandra Hansen and Mar-garet Polovak judged the applications based on strict guidelines and required paperwork.

Students were required to be Des Plaines residents, have a GPA of 2.5 or higher, and had to be applying to or enrolled in the fall semester of 2013 to be eligible.

The students were also required to provide a 100-word statement of their personal goals and a 500-word essay about how they have participated in community service or worked to support themselves or their family. A copy of high school transcripts was also required.

“We had 24 applications, which included studentsfrom Maine West, Maine East and Elk Grove HighSchool,” said Argus. “The students’ essays were justoutstanding. We have such amazing, talented anddriven students here in Des Plaines.”

The three winners of the scholarships are all previous Maine West High School students. The winners are Rahul Bharat Shah, Christina Panganiban and Sandra Reyes.

“I am honored to be chosen by the committee for this generous scholarship,” said Rahul Bharat Shah, a 19-year-old sophomore at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champagne (UIUC) and former Maine West student. “School will start in two weeks and I can use the scholarship money for tuition and books.”

Shah is studying to be a mechanical engineer. He is also a member of the Alfa Phi Omega fraternity at UIUC, which is a service fraternity of 600 brothers providing service to people on campus, in the community and nationwide by donating time and effort to various organizations and causes. “Leadership, friendship and service are the key principles that I have begun to follow while serving my community,” he said.

Sandra Reyes, a Maine West student, wants to attend Oak-ton Community College. Her personal goal is to receive a Dental Hygiene Certificate so that she can “inform the community about how to improve their dental health.”

Christina Panganiban will be a sophomore at University of Illinois and hopes to become a Civil and Environmental Engineer. “My dream is to utilize my intelligence, determination, thirst to learn and ache to leave this world healthier than I found it and to bring about the change our earth deserves.”