SG Chamber recognizes 2 local achievers with scholarships

By on July 20, 2009

by Susan O’Neill
SUGAR GROVE—High School senior Jessica White has always loved math, so it makes sense that she will major in actuarial science at the University of Illinois this fall. She also hopes to minor in French, which will probably not land her a job, but she finds learning another language interesting, she said.

Her time at school just got a bit easier, at least the funding of it, due to a scholarship granted to her by the Sugar Grove Chamber of Commerce and Industry. Hers was one of two scholarships presented on Friday at the Chamber’s annual Golf Outing.

Each year, the Sugar Grove Chamber of Commerce and Industry offers scholarships to students who live in Sugar Grove, based on their academic achievements and their service to the community.

White, a 2009 graduate of Rosary High School in Aurora, was awarded the $1,000 Scholarship for Graduating Female High School Senior. Andrew Wood, a 2009 graduate of the University of Illinois, won the $500 Scholarship for Adult Continuing Education.

White, a Rosary St. Catherine of Sienna Scholar, National Merit Finalist and Illinois State Scholar, placed second in her graduating class.

“She only got one B in high school, and that was because the teacher made a mistake,” her father, James White, said with a laugh.

In addition to her academic successes, White has contributed many hours of service to her community, at Hesed House, through her church and for “Feed My Starving Children.”

She said that community service was an important part of her life during high school, and she wants to carry it with her into the next stage of her life. She said she is very appreciative of the chamber.

“It’s always nice to get recognition for all my hard work in academics and all the extra-curricular activities I participated in, in high school,” she said.

Her dad, a Sugar Grove attorney, said his daughter has been blessed with her gifts, but that she is successful because she has applied them with hard work and discipline.

“She goes above and beyond what other people would only think about,” he said. “How proud can you be of somebody?”

Wood majored in integrative honors biology and chemistry and received high distinction for his honor’s thesis. He volunteered on Saturdays at an extended living facility and weekdays at Dr. Howard Elementary School, and he instituted a weekly science assembly for the enrichment students at South Side Elementary School in Champaign.

He also helped with the sandbagging effort during the Mississippi flooding of 2008. He plans to attend Rush University Medical School in the fall.

No applications were received for the $1,000 Scholarship for Graduating Male High School Senior.