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Resource Bank names 2022 Centennial Service Award recipients

Recipients of Resource Bank's 2022 Centennial Service Award are (top row, from left): Trevor Blanken, Rylie Merkel, Riley Flanagan, Sydney Kuhn, Susana Martin (bottom row) Michael Steimel, Madison Ost, Luke Leifheit, Chloe Harbecke and Ava Polz.

DeKALB – Resource Bank awarded its 2022 Centennial Service Award to 10 DeKalb County high school graduates.

The scholarship recipients are selected based on a commitment to their communities through participation in volunteer and civic activities during high school. Resource Bank has awarded each of the students $1,000 toward their continued education.

The 10 students, chosen from more than 60 applicants, awarded this year are:

• Trevor Blanken, Sycamore High School, earned the rank of Eagle Scout by building clothing racks and a bulletin board for the Spartan Food Pantry. He also volunteered with Feed My Starving Children, participated in “Camping for Cans”, where he spent 24 hours camping outside to collect canned goods for local food pantries, and he participates in a cemetery clean-up at Joiner Cemetery every year on Memorial Day.

• Michael Steimel, DeKalb High School, was an active member of FFA, organizing and operating the FFA Petting Zoo each year for grade school students. He was a part of Ag in the Classroom, helping to prepare activity kits, learning the lessons, and going to local grade schools to teach lessons about agriculture. He also helped with the Northern Illinois STEM Fest, running a booth on agricultural activities, and assisted with the DeKalb Township Paper Drive.

• Madison Ost, Rochelle Township High School, served as representative, secretary, vice president and president in Key Club, participated in student council, and was both a member and secretary of the National Honor Society. She is a Silver Service volunteer, having more than 530 volunteer hours at more than 18 events.

• Chloe Harbecke, Sycamore High School, served as a Sycamore Public Library volunteer, was a part of the Sycamore Public Library Advisory Group, was secretary of the National Honor Society, has been involved as a children’s church volunteer, and participated in the Crossview High School Youth Group.

• Luke Leifheit, Hinckley-Big Rock High School, earned the rank of Eagle Scout, building a “gaga” ball pit for the Immanuel Lutheran Church’s youth group. He participated in “Ski for Sight,” a fundraiser for the visually impaired, volunteered during the Plowman’s Park Easter Egg Hunt, and assisted with an event to benefit the Big Rock Park District. He also helped clean up of Plowman’s Park and assisted in the Eagle Scout projects of two fellow Boy Scouts.

• Susana Martin, Sycamore High School, created a charity called Halloween Costume Club, where she collected and donated used costumes to children in need in her community. She also was involved in Youth Engaged in Philanthropy, participated as a middle school math tutor, helped pack food boxes with DeKalb County Community Gardens, and volunteered with Feed My Starving Children.

• Rylie Merkel, Somonauk High School, served as a helper for both Sunday school and vacation Bible school at her church, was a youth representative for the Evangelical Lutheran Church in the America Synod Assembly, was on the call committee at St. John’s Lutheran Church, was a part of the Homeless Ministry Team, and participated in the Growing Hope Food Fair Festival, which benefits the fight against hunger throughout the world.

• Sydney Kuhn, Sycamore High School, served as Key Club Lieutenant Governor, was a National Honor Society tutor, volunteered weekly with the Northern Illinois Food Bank, prepared and donated meals to Hope Haven on numerous occasions, and participated in “Awareness Night,” raising awareness for homelessness and collected canned goods and coats for community members in need.

• Riley Flanagan, Rochelle Township High School, participated in Reaching Out to Christ’s Kids Ministries, was a member of Key Club, was editor-in-chief of the yearbook, served as student council vice president, was involved with National Honor Society, and volunteered as Rochelle Township High School Library Media Center monitor.

• Ava Polz, Sycamore High School, was a member of Key Club, organized the St. Mary’s Confirmation retreat as part of the St. Mary’s Ministry Team, served as membership chair and donor relations chair of Youth Engaged in Philanthropy, and connected with potential donors for fundraising events.

For more information on Resource Bank, or the scholarship, call 815-756-6321, or visit ResourceBank.com.