District Alumni Honored with Helen Whalen Scholarship

This year's recipients of the Helen Whalen Scholarship William Carson, Jacob Marquez, and Janiyah Williams

This year’s recipients of the Helen Whalen Scholarship William Carson, Jacob Marquez, and Janiyah Williams

The Oak Lawn-Hometown PTA District Council is proud to announce the three $1,500.00 Helen Whalen scholarship winners for 2018.  Three very deserving District 123 alumni received the Helen Whalen Higher Education Scholarship Award on May 14th and will be attending an accredited institution of higher education. The qualifications for applying for this scholarship are graduating seniors who:

  • Attended an elementary school in District 123 for at least four (4) years.
  • Are in the upper 25% of their class
  • Plan to attend an accredited institution of higher education

The committee also considers these factors important in judging the applications and selecting the winners:

  • The desire for higher education
  • High scholastic standing
  • Good character
  • Leadership ability

This year the PTA Council had fourteen high school seniors complete the scholarship application. Each student is required to list their honors, positions of leadership, and volunteer work that they have held throughout high school years. GPA and ACT/SAT scores are also factors as well as writing an essay which was graded by a panel of six unbiased judges. The scores were averaged and the highest scoring applications were from William Carson, Jacob Marquez, and Janiyah Williams.

“As a child, I was an avid dreamer with an imagination that allowed me to transform into whatever I desired.  My mind was an endless playing field where I could envision myself as a beloved teacher, a renowned attorney, and even the first African American female president. I lived in my own world of boundless possibilities.  But in adolescence, I realize that many children do not have the privilege to dream as I did and have concluded their dreams are unattainable because of their family’s financial situation. The purpose of PTA is to make every child’s potential a reality. The youth of today are the leaders of tomorrow, and I wholeheartedly believe that we must equip them with tools for success,” said Janiyah Williams a recipient of the 2018 Helen Whalen Scholarship.

The Helen Whalen Higher Education Scholarship has been a part of the District 123 PTA for decades.  It is given in honor of a Hometown PTA president that went on to become state District PTA president and School Board president, Helen Whalen.