2 Palatine Seniors win Women in Business scholarships


(Left to right) Linda Hall, Greta Nielsen, winners Becca Ruffalo and Jillian Smith, Julie Johlie and Jord’an Helmick.

For the seventh year in a row, the Women in Business Advisory Forum (WIBAF), a networking group of the Chamber of Commerce of the Palatine Region, awarded scholarships of $ 1,000 to high school girls from the Palatine community.

This year’s recipients are Becca Ruffalo of William Fremd High School and Jillian Smith of Palatine High School.

Ruffalo will be attending Indiana University at the Kelley School of Business with a plan to major in both finance and marketing. In addition to his high academic results and a GPA of 4.01 over seven semesters, Ruffalo was captain of the college cheerleading squad, a member of the National Honor Society and the Vikings United Club. , and an active community volunteer for organizations such as Feed My Starving Children. , Phil’s Friends and Willow Creek Community Church. She also has work experience as a cashier, lifeguard and cheerleading coach.

In her recommendation letter, Lindsey A. Corcoran, a social studies teacher at Fremd High School, wrote: “Becca has followed a rigorous course load while balancing a variety of commitments outside of the classroom. . Becca is the type of student that any advisor, coach or teacher would be happy to have as a member of their organization, team or class.

Smith will be attending the University of South Carolina where she will major in business marketing. She took extensive business courses at PHS while maintaining a GPA of 3.97 for seven semesters. In addition to capturing the volleyball team and playing competitive / club volleyball, Smith has participated in many school activities including the National Honor Society, SADD, Varsity Club, and the Future Business Leaders of America. . She worked throughout her high school years and also found time to volunteer at St. Michael’s Episcopal Church and Feed My Starving Children.

In her recommendation letter Adrienne Stewart, business education teacher at Palatine High School, wrote: “Jillian is a goal-oriented high school student and I consider it a real pleasure to write to you on her behalf. Jillian is an exceptional person and demonstrates excellence in the classroom every day. She is a respected school leader and is known for her commitment to improving the school environment and climate.

To be eligible for the scholarship, female students had to have a GPA of 2.75 or higher with the intention of attending a two- or four-year college or university in the fall of 2021 to earn a degree in a related field. business.

Other criteria considered by the scholarship committee included high school business courses, work experience, participation in clubs / activities / services / volunteers, three short answer questions and two letters of recommendation.

The $ 1,000 scholarships can be used for tuition, fees, books or supplies.

Funds for the 2021 scholarship program were raised through a virtual fundraiser as well as the proceeds of the monthly WIBAF networking meetings.

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