District 123 Alumni headed to college in the Fall were recently honored at the Helen Whalen Higher Education Scholarship Dinner.
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.
“Her dedication to students everywhere was remarkable and we wanted her legacy to continue so we created this scholarship in order to help the students reach their college goals,” said Pam Mallo, a parent on the PTA Council.
Requirements for the scholarships were that the applicants had to be a graduating senior, rank in the top 25% of their class, and have attended at least four years in District 123 schools. Applicants were asked to list their honors, volunteer work, and leadership positions they have held during high school. High school transcripts were required, along with their GPA and ACT scores. The applicants had to write an essay that related to the PTA. Everything was graded using a rubric, or a scoring guideline, making the grading consistent and fair for everyone.
“It is because of this woman’s passion in the PTA that the District 123 PTA Council gives this scholarship in her name, continuing her legacy of commitment to the children of our community,” said Mallo.
16 students applied for the scholarship this year, and the top three scoring applicants each received a $1,000 check. This year Elizabeth Travnik, who attended Kolmar and OLHMS, Gina Snyder, who attended Sward and OLHMS and Allison Isztok, who attended Sward and OLHMS stood out to the judges and took the top spots.
In the past, the amounts have varied as well as the number of winners. This year the PTA Council was able to give three scholarships.