Earlier this month, the City of Naperville’s Advisory Commission on Disabilities recognized five Naperville high school students for their outstanding efforts in working with their peers with disabilities. The students received a certificate of appreciation from Mayor A. George Pradel at the May 15, 2012, City Council meeting. The five individuals were selected based on nominations received from school staff and administrators.
The 2012 award winners, along with information submitted as part of their respective nominations, are as follows:
Emily Bajzek, Metea Valley High School: Emily has been a member of Best Buddies and Peers Advocating Lifelong Success (P.A.L.S.), which are both peer-matching programs. Emily has served as president of P.A.L.S. for the past two years and tutors elementary school students in reading and math during the summer.
Nicole Minassian, Waubonsie Valley High School: Although Nicole has a physical disability, she does not let it keep her from accomplishing her goals. Her positive attitude, intelligence, a willingness to help others and a great sense of humor are only a few of the qualities Nicole displays on a daily basis.
Chris Murphy, Naperville Central High School: Chris tutors other students, worked on the steering committee for “Challenge Day,” is a student commissioner on the Advisory Commission on Disabilities and is an athlete on the Windy City Warriors basketball team that raises money for “Hoops for Heart.”
Bobbi Provost, Neuqua Valley High School: Bobbi volunteers with various programs that serve students with special needs, including Special Olympics, Best Buddies and as a Physical Education Peer Partner. She also was a cast member in the first production of “It’s Our School Too” featuring Special Olympics athletes and other student partners.
Adrian Rodriguez, Naperville North High School: Adrian displays outstanding leadership skills and has spoken to the Illinois State Board of Education and the Naperville Noon Lions on behalf of people with disabilities. He is a member of the Goalball team, which is a sport for students who are blind or visually impaired. He also volunteers with Special Olympics and at the Naperville Library.