D203 Teachers’ Union Awards Scholarships: Students honored for their Community Contributions

Four students from the Naperville area received scholarships from the Naperville Unit Education Association (NUEA) in the amount of $1500 each.  The Naperville-based teachers’ union annually gives three scholarships to high school seniors who are children of members, and one scholarship to an education major in the third year of study.  Scholarships are awarded based on extracurricular participation and contributions to the community.  These scholarships were awarded in May, 2019.

The high-school scholarship recipients are Evie Dohm from Wheaton North High School, Colin Iverson from Naperville North High School, and Jillian Paladino from Downers Grove South High School.  The NUEA Future in Education recipient is Alexis Henz from North Central College.

The NUEA scholarships were created by certified staff in District 203 through their union to recognize outstanding contributions among area high school seniors.  The Future in Education Award was added this year to help support a collegiate student entering the field of education.  The scholarships are funded by member dues and represent a small portion of the local support provided to the community through scholarships, volunteerism, and charitable giving.

Evie Dohm – This fall, Evie will be attending the University of Iowa in Iowa City or Emerson College in Boston, Massachusetts.  Evie’s passion for swimming is well balanced with her participation in several academic societies.  She was a member of the Math Honor Society, History Honor Society (Rho Kappa), English Honor Society, French Honor Society, and the National Honor Society.  Additionally, she was a member of the National Speech and Debate Association and a member of the Speech Team for all four years of high school.  Evie was the captain of the Speech Team during her senior year.

As a swimmer, Evie participated on the Wheaton North High School Swim Team for four years and served as the captain and team manager during her senior year.  She also participated on the Wheaton Swim Club during her freshman and sophomore years.

Evie also contributed to several activities at Wheaton North High School.  She was the lead in her sophomore year One Act Play, and she dedicated time to Amnesty International during her junior and senior years.  She worked as a math resource tutor for three years.  Outside of school, Evie volunteered for the Salvation Army and the VFW while gathering work experience as a swim instructor.  Evie believes that participating in so many activities significantly helped her with her time management skills heading into college.

Colin Iverson – Colin will be attending the Bowling Green State University this fall as an intervention specialist for special education students in a K-12 setting.  Colin will also be playing soccer for Boling Green, which is a result of his demanding and highly successful athletic career at Naperville North High School.  In addition to playing volleyball as a freshman, Colin played soccer for NNHS for all four years, serving as varsity captain junior and senior year.  He also played soccer for the Galaxy Soccer Club, serving as captain for four years.

As a volunteer, Colin was an adapted PE and art leader, helping students with special needs access PE and art to their best ability.  He also participated on the J. Kyle Braid Leadership Foundation, which is a community service leadership group.  He similarly served as a DuPage Valley Special Athletes Peer, organizing special events for athletes with disabilities.  Furthermore, Colin was a Chicago Fire United Soccer Peer, helping special athletes perform soccer at a professional level.  Colin claims that his work with students and athletes with special needs has inspired him to become a special education teacher.

Jillian Paladino – Jillian will be attending Grinnell College in Grinnell, Iowa, where she will major in biochemistry.  She has excelled in both academics and athletics as a student at Downers Grove South High School.  She participated as a member of the Student Council, serving as President during her senior year.  She was also a member of Athletes Committed to Excellence, National Honors Society, Spanish Honors Society, Friendship Club, Math Club, Snowball, STRIVE, SAALT, and SALC.

As an athlete, Jillian played varsity soccer for four years, serving as captain her junior and senior years.  She also played basketball at DGSHS, serving as captain Freshman and Sophomore years.  She was a special education PE leader, and she played club soccer with the Joga Bonito Soccer Club for nine years.

Jillian balanced her school activities with volunteer work for her community.  She has volunteered frequently for both the DuPagePads and the Humane Society.  She will be a camp counselor at the Phantom Lake YMCA camp this summer, for which she has been training as a volunteer CIT for four years.  Jillian believes that her work as a volunteer has inspired her to someday work in the pediatric medical field so that she can continue to help children in a meaningful capacity.

Alexis Henz – Alexis is the first recipient of the NUEA Future in Education Scholarship.  She is currently attending North Central College with a major in Elementary Education and a minor in Psychology.  Alexis credits her K-12 education for providing her with critical leadership skills, organizational skills, and reliability skills.  One example of her leadership skills is her willingness to speak up in large groups, thereby accepting risk-taking as a critically important part of the learning process.

Alexis also recognizes the benefits of participating in Cross Country as a college athlete, particularly in a leadership role, occasionally leading the warm-ups or helping other athletes with their workout.  She states that one of the most satisfying rewards of teaching is learning with students.  She has wanted to become a teacher since she was young, deriving inspiration from her family members and from her passion to make an impact in the lives of her students.