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Proviso West, PMSA Students Win Ron Edmonds Scholarships

April 2, 2015 02:50 PM
Four District 209 students – two each from Proviso West High School and Proviso Mathematics and Science Academy – recently were named winners of the 2015 Ron Edmonds Scholarship by the Superintendents’ Commission for the Study of Demographics and Diversity.
Mark Martinez, a senior at Proviso West, was awarded the $1,500 Dr. Ron Edmonds Scholarship Award at a banquet on March 26 in Tinley Park. In addition, Peyton Greenwood, a senior at Proviso West, and Kelechi Agwuncha and Stefan King, seniors at PMSA, were each named winners of the Ron Edmonds Book Award, which is a $1,000 award.
According to the commission, the award is made available to students of color or students of poverty who are currently high school seniors planning to go to college. Each student was judged on criteria that included a cumulative grade point average of at least a "C;" three letters of support from an educator, pastor, parent, or community leader; and a letter of acceptance from the college or university of their choice. They also were judged on their one-page response to the question, "How can I make a difference in the education of students through my chosen profession?"
Dr. Nettie Collins-Hart, superintendent of District 209 and a member of the commission, said that one of the Board of Education’s goals is to not only help students be college and career ready, but also to increase the number of scholarships that they win.
"Our partnership with the Superintendents’ Commission represents yet another opportunity for our students to expand their access to scholarship dollars," Dr. Collins-Hart said. "This continues to show our students are competitive throughout the state and nationally. I congratulate our award winners, and wish them well."
The following is the information and summary of each District 209 student’s essay response and future plans:
  • Mark Martinez

Award: Dr. Ron Edmonds Scholarship Award - $1,500
High School: Proviso West High School
College or University: University of Iowa in Iowa City, Iowa
Major: General Surgeon
As a student, Mark has exhibited great academic ability and he intends to use his academic talent to go to college to become a general surgeon. He contends that his chosen profession will impact the lives of students in a big way once he becomes proficient in his medical practice.
Mark believes he can make a difference as a general surgeon by assuring the safe and speedy recovery of patients after he performs surgery. Mark also said that he is aware that he may not inspire every student; however, he intends to help students build confidence in him as a surgeon. Additionally, he also hopes to pass along inspiration during the healing process.
  • Kelechi Agwuncha

Award: Dr. Ron Edmonds Book Award - $1,000
High School: Proviso Mathematics and Science Academy
College of University: Hofstra University in Hempstead, New York
Major: Film and Media Studies
Kelechi has many goals. She desires to obtain a degree in forensic science, film, and media studies. She wants to use forensic science to complete cold cases and to answer environmental questions in society.
By working with VICE News after college, she plans to create documentaries about important topics so that she can establish a network of individuals who embrace diversity and pave the way for others. With her higher education, she will continue assisting youth by volunteering in STEM programs that promote educating young people.
  • Peyton Greenwood

Award: Dr. Ron Edmonds Book Award - $1,000
High School: Proviso West High School
College of University: North Carolina Agricultural and Technical State University in Greensboro, North Carolina
Major: Food and Nutrition Science
Peyton has decided to major in food and nutrition science because our health depends on us eating healthy. She intends to become the catalyst for changing the choices students make in selecting the food they eat.
After Peyton completes her degree, she will make a difference by mentoring students to be on a health pathway. She wants to encourage students to explore the different careers in food science. She is going to advocate for more structured field trips to farms and food processing companies. She believes students who are exposed to different learning environments may have the "aha" moment. To get students on a healthier eating journey, Peyton feels that together, they can make a difference.
  • Stefan King

Award: Dr. Ron Edmonds Book Award - $1,000
High School: Proviso Mathematics and Science Academy
College of University: University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
Major: Neuroscience/Neurology
Stefan has been described as incredibly inquisitive, an exemplary student, and a leader. He believes education is the most essential tool to achieve success. He aspires to be a neurosurgeon. With his success as a surgeon, he plans to provide resources to students and to the staff to help advance and expand education programs.
Stefan also plans to promote his profession to other students and to encourage them to enter into neuroscience. With education, Stefan feels that students can go far beyond their vision.
Congratulations to all!


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