Aidan Pelletier, who discovered revolutionary methods to share the reward of music together with his church and its youngest members, is the first-place winner of the 2023 Niebuhr Service to Society Scholarship Competitors.
In the course of the awards ceremony held earlier this month, Pelletier, a senior at Grayslake Central Excessive College in Grayslake, Ailing., was awarded a four-year, full-tuition scholarship to attend Elmhurst College.
The second-place winner is Elizabeth Vazquez, a senior at Proviso Arithmetic and Science Academy in Forest Park, who was awarded a $10,000 renewable scholarship to attend Elmhurst.
This yr, a file 214 college students entered the Niebuhr Service to Society Scholarship Competitors, which celebrates college students with a ardour for service to their communities and the world. The contributors, all admitted Elmhurst college students, come from throughout the Midwest and as far west as Colorado; and globally, from Mexico, Uzbekistan, Brazil, Kenya and Kyrgyzstan.
Within the first spherical of the competitors, candidates had been requested to submit a video in regards to the methods during which they contribute to constructive change of their neighborhood. The second spherical was held on March 4 on campus, and included group initiatives and the awards ceremony. It was the primary time because the begin of the COVID-19 pandemic that the competitors and awards ceremony had been held in particular person, though the occasion additionally was livestreamed in order that out-of-state and worldwide college students may take part.
In his video, Pelletier described rising up in his church, La Inglesia, in Mundelein, Ailing. As just a little boy, he took music classes there that modified his life. As he obtained older, he paid it ahead by taking part in piano throughout church companies and giving free music classes to different youngsters within the church who couldn’t afford them in any other case.
After 4 years of instructing, and giving greater than 500 hours of classes, he organized a few of his college students right into a worship band. Then the pandemic hit “and compelled us to cancel all the things,” he stated.
Refusing to look at the band’s progress deteriorate, Pelletier moved his classes on-line and labored creatively to maintain them partaking. Sufficient youngsters caught with it to permit the band to renew a yr later. The expertise “has reworked me and my college students,” stated Pelletier, who plans to check music enterprise at Elmhurst.
“Each time he performs, he evokes me,” stated his pastor, Homero Garcia. “Aidan has blessed me, my household, our church and our total neighborhood, and I actually imagine he also can bless and influence your faculty in a really constructive method too.”
In her video, second-place winner Elizabeth Vazquez, of Hillside, Ailing., stated her uncle taught her that “her social justice isn’t left to probability; it’s what we determine to make of it.” So together with his assist, she turned his tire store in Mexico right into a charitable group that helps impoverished individuals get again on their ft, and likewise works with youngsters who’ve restricted entry to training.
Winners of the digital group service venture, which passed off on March 4, embrace:
- Angelina Calvillo, from Chicago, Ailing.
- Nathan Devitt, from Bloomingdale, Ailing.
- Emily Fanella, from Elk Grove Village, Ailing.
- Stephanie Figueroa, from Darien, Ailing.
- Gabrielle Fisher, from Spherical Lake Seaside, Ailing.
- Sofija Galanto, from Skokie, Ailing.
Every member obtained a $3,000 Niebuhr Service to Society Group Award. All college students who entered the competitors and attended the scholarship occasion obtained a $1,000 Niebuhr Grant, which could be added to beforehand awarded advantage scholarships and/or grants.
Elmhurst College launched the Niebuhr Service to Society Scholarship Competitors in 2019 to acknowledge and reward potential Elmhurst college students with a major curiosity in service, each as a component of their faculty search and of their wider ambitions.
The Niebuhr Service to Society Scholarship Competitors is called for theologians Reinhold and H. Richard Niebuhr, two of Elmhurst College’s most esteemed alumni. The Niebuhrs’ dedication to scholarship, service and social justice informs the College’s mission, and Elmhurst seeks college students motivated to remodel their communities in keeping with the Niebuhr brothers’ teachings.