WEGO Illinois State Scholars recognized for academic potential


Photo by Brittney Walker

WCCHS’ Illinois State Scholars pose for a photo near Entrance B on Dec. 13.

By Wildcat Chronicle Staff

Twenty-eight seniors from West Chicago Community High School were named Illinois State Scholars in December.

The Illinois State Scholar program, run by the Illinois Student Assistance Commission (ISAC), is designed to recognize students with “superior academic potential.” ISAC looks at their junior year SAT/ACT scores, class rank, and GPA* to determine who has considerable “potential for success in college.”

Each recipient is sent a congratulatory letter and certificate; they are also recognized in newspapers across the state.

“I found out I was an Illinois State Scholar when I saw the letter I got in the mail about it. I was a bit confused because I hadn’t known what it was at the time. But when my parents explained it to me I thought it was really cool and I was proud of myself for all the effort I’ve put into my schoolwork,” said Ali Manspeaker.

In 2022, more than 16,700 students across the state of Illinois were recognized, including West Chicago Community High School seniors Reagan Boorsma, Gianna DeConcilis, Effie Giannoudakos, Charles Gove, Caitlin Harding, Ella Hardy, Jake Holloway, Gannon Hosticka, Manspeaker, Aidan Murrin, Leah Nika, Leonardo Padilla, Jack Riconosciuto, Ayden Russo, Sam Rutledge, Aaron Ruszczak, Kayla Sennese, Soham Shah, Mark Stavenger, TJ Tipton, Brandon Wallace, and Connor Zentner.

“I think that being an Illinois State Scholar means getting recognition for dedication to academics throughout high school,” said Nika.

“I felt honored that my hard work was being recognized not only within the school, but around the whole state. This award is important to me because after almost four years of rigorous academic efforts, I finally received recognition. To me, it symbolizes my hard work and what will come in my future as well, as I continue onto college,” said Stavenger.

The 28 WEGO students were asked to join Brittney Walker, Coordinator of Communications and Community Relations for District 94, for a photo near Entrance B before den time on Dec. 13.

ISAC joined the WEGO Counseling department on Oct. 3 for a presentation on completing the FAFSA application for student aid. The organization connects students with scholarship and grant opportunities, and provides free workshops throughout the year. One of their newest programs, First Generation Scholars Network, offers support for students who will be the first in their family to attend college.

*Note that the Illinois State Scholar Program announces honorees based on the year they would begin any postsecondary education, not based on the year they graduate from high school.