2007-2008 Lake County Academic Team

Article excerpt

Elizabeth Dana

Warren Township High School

Elizabeth Dana sees two aspects of her life as crucial in her development - her work on the school newspaper/speech team and her church mission trips.

Working on the paper has spurred her interest in a journalism career, while her experience in speech helped develop her leadership and writing abilities.

She learned compassion and empathy, however, during her summer mission work. She traveled to Washington, D.C., Tennessee and the Gulf Coast.

"These mission trips have prepared me for my future better than any other experience, because they have taught me that everyone has a story to tell, and, as a journalist, I hope to make sure that people's stories are heard," she wrote.

Trini Rayburn, a guidance counselor at Warren Township High School, said Elizabeth will be an asset at New York University, where she plans to attend.

"Her impact will be profound," she wrote.

Elizabeth Dana

School: Warren Township High School

Hometown: Gurnee

Parents: Gregory and Anne Dana

School sponsor: Trini Rayburn, guidance counselor

Grade point average/point system: 4.6327/4 point weighted

Class rank/Class size: 1 out of 939

Test scores: ACT: 33; SAT: 2130

Planned college major: Journalism

Awards, honors: Best Prose award-Illinois Association of Teachers of English; Breakfast Exchange Club Student of the Month; valedictorian

Mary Elizabeth Dolan

Warren Township High School

Mary Elizabeth Dolan knows what she wants to do - she wants to practice law and then become a judge.

She arrived at that decision after being involved in her community's Teen Court program, where first-time offender teens are tried in front of their peers.

"Being able to help others through this program has helped me find certainty in my life goals," she wrote.

Mary Elizabeth also said her involvement in Illini Girls State was pivotal. She ran for State Attorney General at the leadership camp and won the primary. She said it "helped me prove to myself that I could be capable of reaching my goal."

Trini Rayburn, a guidance counselor at Warren Township High School, said leadership roles (like those on the Teen Court and in band) come naturally to Mary Elizabeth.

"I know she will succeed at whatever she puts her mind to," she wrote.

Mary Elizabeth Dolan

School: Warren Township High School

Hometown: Waukegan

Parents: Robert and Diane Dolan

School sponsor: Trini Rayburn, guidance counselor

Grade point average/point system: 4.6327/4 point weighted

Class rank/Class size: 1 out of 939

Test scores: ACT: 32

Planned college major: Political science, pre-law

Awards, honors: Valedictorian; Who's Who Among American High School Students; National Society of High School Scholars

Allison Hamman

Carmel Catholic High School

When writing this essay, Allison Hamman said she had to answer the simple question: "What makes me unique?"

She answered herself: "I want to save the world."

Trips to Austria with her choir, seeing the poor in Bejing and working at a PADS shelter made her "want to change the world's mindset on life's value."

Allison said she stopped doing activities that people wanted her to do, or colleges were looking for, saying: "Now I do these things for me."

"So if you choose me, be assured you are choosing me, not an image put forth to please the world, but the talkative, sometimes crazy, always unique me."

The Rev. Robert Carroll, principal at Carmel, said Allison "represents our school at its best."

"Allison is a marvelous person of deep moral commitment and exceptional drive to make a contribution to our society and to the well being of others," he wrote. …