Student Excellence Foundation awards scholarships to District 200 graduates

Updated 8/9/2021 12:23 AM

This year, for the first time ever, the Student Excellence Foundation awarded eight college scholarships to 2021 graduates of Wheaton Warrenville Unit District 200 -- four at Wheaton North High School and four at Wheaton Warrenville South High School.

The scholarships of $500 each were awarded based on financial need as well as academic merit. The foundation is excited to offer this opportunity to the community, especially in light of the many challenges faced by students and their families during the past year. This is the inaugural year of the new program. This year's recipients are:


• Ahmed Albayaty, who will be attending Bowdoin College in Brunswick, Maine. "I view receiving this scholarship as a validation of my efforts in high school, my education so far in life, and as a supporting nudge towards my future aspirations," says Ahmed. "It's a stepping stone that will help me achieve some of my goals in life, like becoming a doctor."

• Emily Burgess will attend DePauw University in Greencastle, Indiana. "This scholarship is an investment into not only my future, but the future of students and peers I will have the joy of meeting in the very near future. I greatly appreciate the financial support that will allow me to pursue my dreams of continuing music after I graduate and into the rest of my life," says Emily.

• Gabriella De La Torre will attend Bradley University in Peoria. "This scholarship brings me closer to being able to attend college at a reasonable price. This gives me hope for the future."

• Isa Jara will attend Hope College in Holland, Michigan. "It was tremendously encouraging to hear the news that I received this scholarship," says Isa. "Not only will this be a help as I pursue my college education, but it is a reminder that my community is behind me and believes in me as I take this next step out to continue learning, growing and serving in the world."

by signing up you agree to our terms of service

• Zak Kozlowski will attend the Florida Institute of Technology in Melbourne. "I'm grateful for being recognized for my character, hard work and perseverance. (The scholarship means) it is possible to overcome obstacles and achieve goals."

• Ayesha Shafiuddin will attend College of DuPage in Glen Ellyn. "This scholarship makes my dream of further education a reality. I am humbled and honored to have been chosen, and I will continue to work hard so that one day I can give back to this wonderful community of leaders. Thank you so much!"

• Nithin Veeramasuneni will attend Purdue University in West Lafayette, Indiana, as a cybersecurity major. "This award means a lot to me. I feel very honored as this scholarship allows me to be one step closer to my dreams," says Nithin. "I am very thankful to have received this and (it) will help me offset some of the costs of my undergraduate years."

• Vanessa Woyome will attend the University of Illinois at Chicago. "Receiving this scholarship has encouraged me to keep doing the right thing for my school and my community," says Vanessa. "This scholarship has relieved my family of some financial burdens as it is contributing greatly to my financial aid. I am very grateful for that."

Congratulations to all 2021 Foundation Scholarship recipients, and best wishes for continued success! For more information about the Student Excellence Foundation and to donate, go to

Founded in 1992 as a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization (EIN # 36-3786044), the foundation serves Wheaton-Warrenville Unit District 200's 1,800 educators and nearly 13,000 students in 13 elementary schools, four middle schools, two high schools, an early childhood center, and a transition center, and is dependent upon parent and community volunteers. Donations are tax deductible to the fullest extent allowed by law.

Go to comments: 0 posted
Article Comments
Guidelines: Keep it civil and on topic; no profanity, vulgarity, slurs or personal attacks. People who harass others or joke about tragedies will be blocked. If a comment violates these standards or our terms of service, click the "flag" link in the lower-right corner of the comment box. To find our more, read our FAQ.