21st Century Scholars honored

Lindsey Bennett, IV Leader Opinion Editor

Gabriel Braboy of Dalzell, was named the 21st Century Scholar on Sept. 15, at the annual dinner held by the 21st Century Scholars Society at Starved Rock Lodge. Braboy will receive $3,500 to use in the school year for tuition, books and fees.
The other finalists include Ben Bejster of Peru, studying finance, Elaine Lethiot-Cabrera of Ottawa, studying nursing, Aelsa Butler of Arlington, studying business, Trevor Finnan of Utica, studying neurology and Stefan Nelson of Princeton, studying engineering. Each finalist will be given $2,000 to be used in the year for tuition, books and fees.

A 4.0 student, Braboy is an active member of the STEM Club and is intending to transfer to the University of Illinois to study civil or industrial engineering.

“He has a rare combination of motivation, intellectual ability and worth ethic.” Matthew Johll, IVCC chemistry professor, describes the scholar. “I have no doubt he will find continued success in his studies.”
Bejster, who is praised for his involvement in campus activities and his academic performance by instructor Mary Black, maintains a 4.0 GPA as well as a position on the IVCC baseball team.

Lethiot-Cabrera is a student of nursing as well as a member of the Rho Omerga Chapter of Phi Theta Kappa at IVCC. Lethiot-Cabrera is described as “thorough and precise” by nursing instructor Julie Hogue, who also notes her as often the “calm voice of reason” in her contributions to her studies.

Butler is a 4.0 student who is pursuing an Associates degree in Business, hoping to transfer to pursue arts administration at Eureka College. Butler is highly praised for her leadership ability and character by music professor, Michael Pecherek. Butler volunteers for multiple organizations, including co-editor of the IV Leader and she also teaches private music lessons.
Honors Program member Finnan maintains a 4.0 GPA and is president of Phi Theta Kappa, as well as a student ambassador. Finnan is described as having a “strong work ethic,” and was praised highly for his academic work and his contributions to the honors program by the program director, Adam Oldaker.

Stefan Nelson is described as having “exceptional capabilities as a student” by mathematics instructor Trisha Blood. Praised for his passion for learning and constant positive attitude, Nelson is a teaching assistant in the math learning center, as well as an officer of the STEM club at IVCC.

Seventeen students were chosen for the $500 merit award, including Breann Aubry of Utica, Kayte Bernardoni of Lostant, Brenda Carr of Princeton, Elias Chah of La Salle, April Cullifer of La Salle, Heather Davis of Princeton, Camden Dodge of Streator, Laura Faletti of La Salle, Rebecca Fecht of Spring Valley, Allison Hawbaker of Mendota, Heather McCutcheon of Ladd, Shannon McGrath of Marseilles, Alexandra Mentgen of Oglesby, Arinze Ochuba of Peru, Trupti Patel Ottawa, Kristen Pinn of Hennepin and Jill Wignes of Marseilles.

Sept. 15 was the 10th annual dinner for the 21st Century Scholar Society, which was started in 2006 for the financial benefit of IVCC’s finest students.