We awarded the first KJO Memorial Scholarship of 2020 to Sarah Cernugel of Hinsdale Central HS.  

The value of this scholarship is $1,500 annually, renewable for 4 years. All recipients must maintain a B average in college.   This is a category 1 scholarship.

For more information on the scholarship requirements and award values, please see our information page here. 

Sports and Activities in High School:

Sarah played so many sports a list does not do her justice.  Starting in grammar school she participated in Soccer, Basketball, Cross Country, Track & Field, and Volleyball.  During high school, she narrowed her focus to Soccer and Basketball.  On the Basketball team, she was Captain Freshman, Sophomore, and Senior year, IHSA Scholar-Athlete. For the Soccer team, she was the Red Devil Representative her senior year.

Highlights from the Essay:

Sarah’s essay centered on her passion for children and love of helping them.  Not surprisingly this mixed with her love of Basketball.  Here’s an excerpt from her essay.  “I also help run summer basketball camps at Hinsdale Central. I love being able to help kids grow their passion for the game and help them learn new skills. When working with kids it is important that you are always caring and compassionate because they look up to older kids and imitate them”.

Sarah’s essay also talked about children in her love of teaching. Here’s another quote from her essay, “One fond memory I carry with me are the days I would work with one student that has dyslexia. I helped accommodate his needs and was able to figure out what was the best way to help him learn. I didn’t really understand how much I was helping him until the teacher had told me how much I had touched his life. His Mom reached out to let the teacher know how much he has learned while I was teaching him and how much I had helped him improve throughout the trimester.”

Highlights from the Recommendations:

Yes, she is an exceptional athlete, but what makes her special is her heart and compassion. Sarah was always alert to the feelings of others, and quick to lend words of encouragement and comfort. As a leader, she would also intervene when necessary, and in a calm manner, if the behavior of a teammate was detrimental to the team or her teammates. Sometimes she would use a smile and a few words; other times she would take them on a short walk. … Never once have I seen Sarah utter a harsh word, scowl, or attack or degrade others. Rather, everything about Sarah emanates positivity, care, and compassion.

We are delighted to add Sarah to the ranks of KJO Memorial Scholarship recipients for 2020. Congratulations!