Every year the Maine 207 Foundation awards one scholarship at each of the three District 207 High Schools to a graduating senior who has served as a tutor in their school’s peer tutoring program. The Foundation is pleased to announce the recipients of these scholarships for the 2020-2021 school year. Nelly Hadlaw from Maine South, Nell Jakoniuk from Maine West, and Prapti Patel from Maine East all demonstrated their dedication to peer tutoring, while also being involved in a number of other extra curricular activities.
Nelly Hadlaw - Maine South
Nelly was a student tutor throughout her four years at Maine South. She began tutoring in the math lab during freshman year and when she saw how students were benefiting from her help she made it her mission to continue tutoring for all four years. In addition to tutoring and maintaining a rigorous course load, Nelly was a member of the swim team. Nelly has a particular interest in computer science, which combined with her entrepreneurial spirit, led her to develop a virtual tutoring platform during the Covid-19 pandemic. This program is now expanding to all three District 207 high schools and beyond. Nelly will continue her passion for computer science when she attends Carnegie Mellon in the fall.
Nell Jakoniuk - Maine West
Nell participated in Maine West’s COACH tutoring program for three years. While she enjoyed helping other students learn and make improvements in their study skills, the experience as a tutor led Nell to feel more confident in her own education, communication skills, and her ability to support others. During her time at Maine West, Nell participated in a variety of activities such as Key Club, National Honor Society and the school’s Kpop/Hip Hop Dance Group. She also discovered her intrinsic passion for giving back through community service projects, which she looks forward to continuing beyond high school. Next year, Nell will begin her studies in Industrial Design at University of Illinois Urbana Champaign.
Prapti Patel - Maine East
Prapti was a tutor in Maine East’s COACH tutoring program for five semesters. During this time, she enjoyed connecting with students and giving them a safe and comfortable environment in which to ask questions. Being a tutor helped Prapti understand how she could use her strengths to have an impact on others. In addition to tutoring, Prapti participated in a number of other activities while at Maine East, including Feminist Club, Students Organized Against Racism, National Honor Society, and Orchestra. She also was a student in the school’s gifted Lyceum program. Prapti hopes to major in Sociology and pursue a pre-medicine path while attending University of Illinois Chicago honors college.
One of the most consistently successful co-curricular activities in the District, the Maine South Constitution Team has received Foundation grant support to compete in the national finals in Washington, D.C. every year since 2008--and the road to D.C. is defined by discipline and hard work. These senior AP Government students must prepare statements and answer questions about a variety of historical and current issues involving the Constitution--and then compete in state level competitions structured similarly to a congressional hearing. Below are some photos from last year’s Illinois state competition at the Federal Building in Chicago.
Although the COVID-19 pandemic led to the cancellation of the finals in D.C. this year, students competed in a virtual competition via Zoom--and the Maine South Constitution Team fared well, particularly Unit 5; you can view this Zoom presentation and questioning below.
When the live competition was cancelled and the funds granted to the Maine South Constitution team for their trip to D.C. were returned, The Foundation was pleased to donate those funds to the Maine 207 COVID-19 Emergency Fund.
"I have just recently graduated from Maine South High School in Park Ridge, IL -- the alma mater of former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton. In this most recent year, I have participated in the We The People Program run by the Center for Civic Education, and was on my school's Constitution team which represented the state of Illinois at the National We The People Constitution competition. Being on the Constitution team was a perspective altering and immensely enlightening experience -- one in which I learned to form and practice into my own an ability to critically synthesis philosophies and ideologies which shape our society, to be considerate of and invested in my own role as a citizen of our democratic nation, and to take into account the many perspectives which intersect to form the bigger picture. This experience, cultivated with the help of the program support from the Maine Education Foundation and to whom I owe much gratitude for, is one which we should strive to provide for all our young and aspiring learners as they grow to become an integral part of our cities, states, Nation and world."
Omar Farrag, Class of 2020
Since 1999, the Maine 207 Foundation has supported peer-to-peer tutoring programs to provide assistance to students needing extra academic help. We’ve awarded over $40,000 in scholarships to graduating peer tutors who plan to continue their educations after high school. A highlight of the 2019-2020 year was adding Maine South to the scholarship program. This spring we distributed $4,000 to four accomplished, well-deserving seniors: Olivia Bitcoin from Maine West, Omar Farrag from Maine South, and Angela Righi and Riya Patel from Maine East.
The peer-to-peer aspect of the tutoring program is highly regarded by teachers; as one stated, “Very frequently, ... tutors have taken the exact same course(s) that the tutoree needs help with and can consequently offer guidance from their own personal experience, offering studying tips, etc.”
Student tutors apply for the Foundation scholarships during the spring of their senior year. The application process requires a teacher recommendation and a personal statement about their tutoring experiences, their activities at school and within the community, and their post high school goals.
Providing long-lasting benefits
Students appreciate the benefit of having served as tutors as they move to the next chapter of their lives. As one student noted, “Not only has tutoring allowed me to discover how much I love to help other people learn, but it also made me a better student and learner.” The skills honed as tutors in the areas of leadership, communication, and responsibility will serve these students well throughout their lives.
If you are interested in supporting scholarships through the Foundation, please consider making a directed donation through our website -- donate today.