Above / Twelve of 15 scholarship recipients are pictured with Rotarians Rich Tatara, Maria Caselli, Rotary Club of Naperville President Kim White and Jacque Clermont in the Pavilion at Meson Sabika. (Photo courtesy Dave Della Terza)
The Rotary Club of Naperville recently awarded $39,500 in scholarships to 15 students who prioritize “service above self” during the Club’s annual Pursuit of Life Awards. The awards were presented during a luncheon event on May 4, 2023, in the Pavilion at Meson Sabika honoring the students and their families.
Scholarships were funded through generous donations from the Rotary Club of Naperville, Naperville Sunrise Rotary, Naperville Rotary Charities, Naperville Rotary Foundation, and members of the Slocumb family. A total of 81 students applied, and 15 of those students were selected to receive scholarships ranging from $2,000 to $5,000.
“This year we have a wide array of talented students receiving scholarships,” said Maria Caselli, Youth Service Chair for the club. “In addition to several Honors Society members and peer and community service leaders, we also have a past Paul Harris Fellow recipient, activists, entrepreneurs, student athletes, a podcast co-host, a six-time record breaker in track and field, and an Eagle Scout. The one thing they all have in common is their dedication to serving others and making a positive impact.”
“This scholarship provides me with the means to bring positive change to our community,” said scholarship recipient Anika Manelkar, a senior at Waubonsie Valley High School. “Your faith in me in giving me this scholarship does not go unnoticed. I am truly grateful for the chance you have given me to prove that the power of my hope and passion will go a long way to truly make a difference in our city, state, and perhaps even our country.”
“This scholarship will help me to achieve my academic goals and also pursue my dreams of computer science at North Central College,” said Nathan Purkis, a senior at Naperville Central High School. “This scholarship has not only provided much needed financial assistance; it also inspires me to keep working harder to continue my education. I’m confident that I can make the most out of this opportunity and use my education to make a positive impact on society.”
2023 Pursuit of Life scholarship recipients
· Gavin Bohan, Naperville Central High School
· Rachel Boudeman, Naperville North High School
· Charlie Egan, Naperville Central High School
· Danny Eloe, Naperville North High School
· Allison Enright, Neuqua Valley High School
· Anika Manelkar, Waubonsie Valley High School
· Olivia Meyer, Naperville Central High School
· Srila Munukutla, Neuqua Valley High School
· Emily Negrete, Neuqua Valley High School
· Nathan Purkis, Naperville Central High School
· Skylar Russo, Naperville Central High School
· Sofia San Pedro, Waubonsie Valley High School
· Becca Scott, Naperville Central High School
· Lachlan Sorensen, Neuqua Valley High School
· Esha Thakker, Neuqua Valley High School
The Rotary Club of Naperville also extended thanks to the Metea Valley Jazz Combo and Apollo Men’s acapella group, for their excellent performances at the awards luncheon.
The Rotary Club of Naperville since 1941
The Rotary Club of Naperville was founded on March 31, 1941, with 15 members, Today, the Rotary Club of Naperville has over 100 members who are dedicated to “service above self” and provides a wide variety of service projects in the community and globally. The Club meets at 12:15PM most Thursdays in person or on Zoom, and guests are welcome to join.
The Rotary Club of Naperville is a member of Rotary International, one of the first humanitarian organizations, and is a part of over 35,000 Rotary Clubs in more than 200 counties and geographical areas with 1.2 million members worldwide. The purpose of our fellowship is to provide humanitarian service, encourage high ethical standards in all vocations, and to help build goodwill and peace in the world. The Rotary Club of Naperville includes members who are leaders in the fields of business, education, religion, non-profit organizations, government, and many other vocations. Visit www.rotaryclubofnaperville.org for more information.
Story and photo submitted by Rotarian Dave Della Terza, Marketing and Communications for Rotary Club of Naperville.
Four Rotary Clubs of Naperville
In addition to the Rotary Club of Naperville, this city is home to three other Rotary Clubs, all members of Rotary International and Rotary District 6450; and each with different leadership, personality and fundraising goals as well as members that meet at a different time and place.
- Chartered in 1991, the Rotary Club of Naperville-Sunrise meets from 7-8AM every Friday (except the last of each month!) at Naperville Country Club from April through the end of the year and at other locations when NCC is closed for the season.
- Chartered in 2007, Rotary Club of Naperville / Downtown meets weekly at 4:44PM on most Wednesdays. On the second and fourth Wednesdays the club meets in person at Angeli’s Restaurant, 1478 E Chicago Ave. Other meetings on the first and third Wednesdays are via Zoom. No meeting if there is a fifth Wednesday in a month or if a holiday falls in that week.
- Chartered in 2017, Rotary Club of Naperville After Dark meets selected Tuesdays at 6:30PM at the Knights of Columbus, 615 E. Ogden Ave.
Member Rotarians are known to “make up” meetings by attending meetings at other Rotary Clubs in Naperville, in Illinois, the United States and throughout the world. Visiting other Rotary Clubs is a great way to learn about Rotary projects and fundraisers that can make a difference for unmet needs as well as to experience first hand what’s happening in other communities. Rotary Clubs meet to build friendships, goodwill and peace worldwide with a motto of “Service above Self.” Guests are welcome. Guest fees vary from club to club. —PN