Saint Viator News

Delivering the latest news from Saint Viator High School.

Querbes Scholars Immersed in Cutting Edge Physics at Fermilab

fermi6Quarks, protons, and leptons. Oh, my!

Freshmen and sophomore Querbes Scholars learned about these and more during their visit last week to the U.S. Department of Energy’s national laboratory, Fermilab.  Located near Batavia, Fermilab specializes in high-energy particle physics, and Saint Viator students saw firsthand some of its leading technology and experiments.

fermilabThis trip helped me realize how exciting the field of theoretical physics is,” said Matt McManaman ’19.

Their tour started with visiting Fermilab’s particle accelerator, which produces some of the highest energy particle beams in the world. Students learned just how much energy is needed to accelerate particles and how much electricity is used.

Next, they visited the Lederman Science Center for a series of hands-on experiments, before heading up to the 15th floor of Wilson Hall for a panoramic view of Fermilab’s 6,800 acres. They also toured a series of displays explaining the mysteries of matter that are held by individual particles inside the atom’s nucleus—including colliding protons, quarks and leptons.

fermi4Throughout the tour, students had time to meet with scientists who explained what they did at Fermilab and what a typical day looked like.

“This was such an enriching field trip that gave us a view into modern, cutting edge physics and how physicists will use their research to help us further understand our universe,” said Marcus Lannie ’19.

His classmate, Kevin Wilhite ’19, agreed, adding: “This field trip made me realize just how much interesting information is out there about science.”

Querbes Scholars have toured Fermilab nearly every year since the honors program was launched in 2010. Mrs. Cate Majka, physics teacher and one of the Querbes Scholars moderators, says immersing such motivated students as the Querbes fermilab3Scholars around leading scientists—in their environment—is important.

“Scientists at Fermilab are on the cutting edge of determining how neutrinos may help us understand what dark matter and dark energy is and why the universe is actually expanding rather than contracting,” Mrs. Majka says. “They are currently conducting leading experiments on particle accelerators and the measurements of the cosmos and work closely with 86 research universities around the world.”

Senior Awards Night 2017: Congrats to All Award Recipients!

DEPARTMENT AWARDS

COMPUTER TECHNOLOGY DEPARTMENT:
Outstanding Achievement Accounting:
Sean McAteer
Outstanding Achievement AP Computer Science Principles:
Steven Hannon
Kaitlyn G Solarz
Outstanding Achievement Mobile Apps:
Geping Qu
Outstanding Achievement Personal Business Computing:
Michael J Boler

ENGLISH DEPARTMENT:
Outstanding Achievement:
Orest A Byskosh
Zachary D Jones
Paulina Piwowarczyk
Tobias C Schwartz
Kaitlyn G Solarz
Four-Year Overall Senior Award – English:
Patrick M Harris

FINE ARTS DEPARTMENT:
Outstanding Achievement Theater:
Aria A Bernardi
Four-Year Overall Senior Award in Theater:
Kaitlyn M Baxendale
Outstanding Achievement in Visual Art:
Audrey R Alaniz
Ashley P Suchyta
Nuo Xu
Four-Year Overall Senior in Visual Art:
Sara E Gasey
Outstanding Achievement in Choral Music:
Katherine A Tortorella
Four-Year Overall Senior in Choral Music:
Kaitlyn M Baxendale
Four-Year Overall Senior in Instrumental Music:
Claudia T Russo

MATHEMATICS DEPARTMENT:
Outstanding Achievement:
Xiangming Chen
Patrick M Harris
Claire M Slaski
Katherine A Tortorella
Four-Year Overall Senior Award – Mathematics:
Kaitlyn G Solarz

MODERN WORLD LANGUAGES DEPARTMENT:
French
Outstanding Achievement-French IV Honors:
Elizabeth J Airan
Italian
Outstanding Achievement Italian IV Honors:
Isabella R Perez
Outstanding Achievement AP Italian:
Samuel J Brey
Mandarin Chinese
Outstanding Achievement Mandarin Chinese IV Honors:
Tobias Schwartz
Outstanding Achievement Mandarin Chinese II:
Hojae Lee
Spanish
Outstanding Achievement Accelerated Spanish IV Honors:
Patrick M Harris
Outstanding Achievement AP Spanish:
Paulina Piwowarczyk

PHYSICAL EDUCATION DEPARTMENT:
Outstanding Achievement – PE:
Beau T Kellner
Anna L Krause
Grace K Niezyniecki
Thomas D Scully

RELIGION DEPARTMENT:
Outstanding Achievement:
Kaitlyn M Baxendale
Sheila K Cavanagh
Patrick M Harris
Paulina Piwowarczyk
Rachel Varvara
Four-Year Overall Senior Award – Religion:
Stephen F Hannon

SCIENCE DEPARTMENT:
Outstanding Achievement:
Charlotte M Aichele
Samuel J Brey
Xiangming Chen
Ludovica Garro
Paulina Piwowarczyk
Austin T Ruetsche
Four-Year Overall Senior Award – Science:
Stephen F Hannon

SOCIAL STUDIES DEPARTMENT:
Outstanding Achievement:
Steven C Cieniawa
Anthony R Graffia III
Grace M Kaiser
Paulina Piwowarczyk
Elias R Rivera
Four-Year Overall Senior Award – Social Studies:
Zachary D Jones

SENIOR CLUB AWARDS
Ambassadors’ Club – Outstanding Service:
Bradley A Devins
Daniel J Morton
Cameron L VanValkenburg

Anime Club – Outstanding Service:
Audrey R Alaniz

Campus Ministry Team – Outstanding Service:
Amanda K Murphy
Elias R Rivera Jr.

Chinese Club – Outstanding Service:
Orest A Byskosh
Nicholas Bavaro
Anthony R Graffia III

EYEsee – Outstanding Service:
Paulina Piwowarczyk

Fall Play – Outstanding Service:
Olivia Emli Dominguez
Zachary D Jones
Matthew J Fecko

Film Making Club – Outstanding Service:
Elias R Rivera

French Club – Outstanding Service:
Elizabeth J Airan
Autumn M Ashe
Ashley P Suchyta

Italian Club – Outstanding Service:
Ludovica Garro
Isabella R Perez
Rachel Varvara

Justice League Club – Outstanding Service:
Aria A Bernardi
Grace K Niezyniecki
John P Ruth

Link Crew – Outstanding Service:
Sarah A Allaire
Brian O’Hara

Math Club – Outstanding Service:
Xiangming Chen

Math Team – Outstanding Service:
Orest A Byskosh
Xiangming Chen
Patrick M Harris
Kaitlyn G Solarz
Wentao Yang

Musical – Outstanding Service:
Matthew J Fecko
Caroline S Sevilla
Miriam Varvara

National Art Honor – Outstanding Service:
Katherine L Boler

Orchesis – Outstanding Service:
Mary Ann Cortese

SADD – Outstanding Service:
Emily E Jarosz

Scholastic Bowl – Outstanding Service:
Stephen F Hannon
Patrick M Harris

Spanish Club/Una Gente – Outstanding Service:
Sean T O’Grady
James A Valentino III

Technical Theater Award – Outstanding Service:
Elias R Rivera Jr
Zachary D Stawicki

Theater Productions – Outstanding Service:
Stephanie C Bremner
Kendall A Fundum
Hugh W Tully

Viator Voice – Outstanding Service:
Katherine L Boler
Stephen F Hannon
Elias R Rivera Jr

2017 Student Council Officers:
Senior Class President – Emily Jarosz
Senior Class Vice-President – Maureen McGrath
Senior Class Secretary – Preetha Raj
ICC Co-President – Gabriella Gaffney
ICC Co-President – Angelo Grossi

The Lion’s Pride Award
Emily Jarosz
*The Lion’s Pride Award is an award presented to a senior class member of student council for outstanding service over three or four years to their class council and ICC, and who has truly demonstrated what is meant by Lion’s Pride. The recipient of this award was chosen by the members of Student Council and ICC.

SENIOR ATHLETIC AWARDS

East Suburban Catholic Conference Scholar – Athlete Award:
Charlotte Aichele
Genevieve Breslin
Isabelle Brown
Susan Carlson
Grace Kaiser
Maureen McGrath
Caroline Mroz
Sarah Niesman
Claire Williams
Colleen Williams
Samuel Brey
Michael Flis
Anthony Graffia III
Alexander Horne
Luke Koehler
Sean McAteer
Daniel Morton
Sean O’Grady
Brian O’Hara
Jason Vivit

The Golden Lion Award (Three Seasons/four-year student-athletes):
Katherine Cappuccitti
Erin Peters

Athletes of the Year:
Elizabeth Drab
Cole Kmet

PRESIDENT’S VOLUNTEER SERVICE AWARD

The first recipients receive the Bronze Service Award for over 100 hours of service this year. The Bronze Service Award is presented to:
Elizabeth Drab
Gabriella Gaffney
Patrick Harris
Brian O’Hara
Claudia Russo
Claire Slaski
Kaitlyn Solarz

The next recipient receives the President’s Volunteer Silver Service Award for 200 or more hours of service this year. The Silver Service Award is presented to:
Mary Ann Cortese
Gabriela Sniadowski
Allison Zajakala

The next recipient, as a Prudential Spirit of Community honoree, also qualifies for the President’s Volunteer Service Award. It is presented to:
Sara Allaire

Wendy’s High School Heisman Scholarship:
Kaitlyn G Solarz
James A Valentino III
*James was also a Wendy’s High School Heisman State Finalist.

National Merit Finalists:
Zachary D Jones
Grace C Nessen-Gilligan
Kaitlyn G Solarz

Commended National Merit Scholars:
Isabelle A Brown
Anthony R Graffia III
Stephen F Hannon
Patrick M Harris
Alexander C Horne
Daniel J Morton
Paulina Piwowarczyk
Bryan J Rapala
Alexandra T Recht

FRANK M. COVEY, JR. AWARD for Meritorious Service to Saint Viator recipients:
Sara Allaire
Kaitlyn Baxendale
Matthew Beiersdorf
Stephanie Bremner
Mary Ann Cortese
Elizabeth Drab
Michael Dziedzic
Matthew Fecko
Gabriella Gaffney
Angelo Grossi
Stephen Hannon
Patrick Harris
Emily Jarosz
Zachary Jones
Cole Kmet
Amanda Murphy
Sean O’Grady
Brian O’Hara
Paulina Piwowarczyk
Preetha Raj
Elias Rivera
Claudia Russo
Kaitlyn Solarz
James “Tony” Valentino
Cameron VanValkenburg

ANDREW JOHNSTONE LEADERSHIP AWARD FINALISTS:
Gabriella Gaffney
Emily Jarosz
Cole Kmet
Zachary Jones
Preetha Raj
James “Tony” Valentino

THE ERDMANN AWARD FINALISTS:
Carolyn Bielawski
Mathew Fecko
Stephen Hannon
Zachary Jones
Preetha Raj
Elias Rivera

 

 

Viator Voice Editors Advance to Journalism State Competition

IMG_9466

Alex Horne ’17, Vicky Garro ’18, Maeve Schumacher ’18, Katie Boler ’17, Elias Rivera ’17, Stephen Hannon ’17, and Nicole Marcinkus ’18 represented Saint Viator’s Viator Voice at the IHSA journalism sectionals.

Extra, extra! Read all about it! Two editors from the Viator Voice are advancing to the state finals of the IHSA journalism competition.

Stephen Hannon ’17 and Elias Rivera ’17 both placed second in their respective events at the Stevenson sectional to advance to Friday’s state finals at Eastern Illinois University in Charleston. Stephen advanced in headline writing, while Elias qualified for state in photo storytelling. They emerged from a pool of reporters from 14 schools from the North and Northwest suburbs.

Other editors who placed include Alex Horne ’17, who took fourth in copy editing, Vicky Garro ’18, who placed fifth in editorial writing, and Stephen, who finished sixth in newspaper design, using Adobe InDesign software to lay out different pages. Maeve Schumacher ’18 also competed in sports writing.

Only the top three students in each event, however, qualified to compete at state.

Saint Viator High School have been publishing a student newspaper nearly since the start of the school, or more than 50 years ago. Students have attended high school journalism conferences for years, but this was the first time its staff competed against other high schools in the IHSA’s state series.

“It was fun, but I felt the pressure of representing our school—and our newspaper—well at the competition,” said Katie Boler ’17, who competed in editorial cartooning and created three cartoons—on the spot—to match different editorials written for the competition.

Nicole Marcinkus ’18 serves as one of the co-editors of the Voice’s local section. She competed in both news writing and feature writing events.

For newswriting, she and the other reporters sat in on a presentation by a lieutenant from the Buffalo Grove Police Department, who briefed them on the latest crisis intervention plan for the village. After his 25-minute talk, students were allowed to ask questions before sitting down to write their news story—all in 90 minutes.

“It was like a press conference,” Nicole says. “I loved it. I loved being with a community of other journalists, in a professional setting.”

She didn’t place, but afterward, she received a critique from the judges about her lead, verb usage and organization of the facts in the story. They all were positive, she says, and good advice that she will take with her going forward in her journalism career.

In the headline writing competition, students read six stories and had to assign corresponding headlines. One dealt with a student production of the play, “Twelve Angry Men,” to which Stephen assigned this headline: “Disorder in the Court.”

IMG_9473

Editors work on the Class of 2017 senior issue, the final Viator Voice of the school year.

“I think the judges liked it,” he says. “I tried to summarize each story in a short, concise headline, and still have time to play with the words a little. I tried a bunch of different combinations to see what worked best, but basically, I wanted to stay away from the drab and add a little twist to grab the reader.”

Viator Voice editors were nominated by the staff to be able to compete at sectionals, and once nominated they could choose their events. Their top place finishes surprised Mr. Chris Paolelli, moderator for the paper, who said he looks for them to build on this experience in the future.

“I’m thrilled at how well our team did in their first year of competition,” said Mr. Paolelli. “I’m beyond proud of what these kids accomplished, and I’m looking forward to many years of IHSA excellence in the future.”

Eagles Are Soaring at Saint Viator

BEIERSDORF

Matt Beiersdorf ’17.

Seniors Matt Beiersdorf and Zach Stawicki are the latest in their class to join a rare group of achievers.

Both will be awarded their Eagle Scout ranks at a court of honor ceremony on Sunday, June 4 at St. James Church in Arlington Heights, sponsor of Boy Scout Troop 166.

In all, this year’s senior class includes seven Eagle Scouts, including: Patrick Doherty, Ian Malek, Brian O’Hara, Jack Purcell and Bryan Rapala.

The Eagle Scout Award is Boy Scouting’s highest honor. Nationally, only six percent of eligible Boy Scouts earn the award, according to the latest statistics published by Boy Scouts of America.

To earn it, Scouts have to complete 21 required merit badges and plan and carry out their Eagle project. In Matt’s case, he erected three flagpoles—one for Saint Viator, the state of Illinois and the American flag—visible from the baseball and softball fields, as well as the soccer and freshman football fields.

Zach Stawicki '17.

Zach Stawicki ’17.

“I noticed before soccer games, that for the national anthem, we had one guy holding the flag,” Matt said. “With my dad having a military background (Naval reserves), I just felt it wasn’t being respectful. The flag needs to be on a pole.”

Matt erected the three flags in August, in time for the start of soccer and freshman football season, and they are being used this spring for baseball and softball.

Zach turned to another area of Saint Viator High School for his project: organizing some of the storage areas backstage of the Jeuck Auditorium.

“I’m in band and tech crew and I knew some of those areas could use some organizing,” says Zach, who plays in the percussion section in band.

He worked with Mrs. Kate Costello, theater director, to organize parts of the costume room, the props room and an area of the lighting booth, where cables are stored.

Matt and Zach have participated in Scouting since Cub Scouts and they both have played active roles in Troop 166.

Zach Stawicki '17 (far left) with Troop 166 scouts on their trip to the Florida Sea Base.

Zach Stawicki ’17 (far left) with Troop 166 scouts on their trip to the Florida Sea Base.

“I’ve always loved the outdoors and we’ve taken lots of cool trips and had fun just hanging out in the woods,” says Zach, who also has traveled to Boy Scout’s Sea Base in the Florida Keys and attended the Boy Scout Jamboree in 2013 in West Virginia, that drew more than 40,000 Scouts.

Matt says he followed in the footsteps of his older brothers, and his father, Will, who all encouraged him to stay in Scouting and earn his Eagle rank. He adds, that he knows it caught the attention of college admissions counselors.

“I knew it would teach me more independence and leadership,” Matt says. “Plus, we took some cool trips, like the 30-mile canoe trip in Montauk State Park in Missouri. It was really hard, but it was fun to do it with my friends.”

 

 

Two Members of the Academic Team Medal at Rigorous State Contest

Saint Viator’s Academic Team continues to make a name for itself. After qualifying the entire team to compete at the state finals of the Academic Challenge, sponsored by the University of Illinois and its Worldwide Youth in Science and Engineering initiative, two seniors came home with state medals.

Stephen Hannon took third place overall in the computer science division, after earning sixth place last year in English, while his teammate, Thomas Stanila took fourth in state in biology.

“This was only our second year participating and we are very proud of our students,” said Mrs. Eileen Cairo, science department chair. “They emerged from the hundreds of schools and thousands of students who participated.”

The state finals took place April 20 at the University of Illinois in Champaign. After a pep-rally-like send-off, Mrs. Cairo and Mrs. Vicky Giusti accompanied the Saint Viator students to the competition and awards ceremony.

Earlier this year, the Academic Team won its second straight regional and had so many students medal or place in their respective subject tests at sectionals, that they advanced the entire team to the state competition.

The state-qualifying team this year included seniors, Michael Boler, Sam Brey, Isabelle Brown, Jenny Chen, Stephen Hannon, Patrick Harris, Alex Horne, Zac Jones, Dan Morton, Paulina Piwowarczyk, Kaitlyn Solarz, and Thomas Stanila, and juniors, Sean Carey, Will Sheriff, Rebecca Wolf, and Jeremy Yoder.

The Academic Challenge dates back more than 25 years. Its immediate goal is to attract a greater number of talented and diverse students to careers in engineering and the sciences.

Each year, the contest is offered to high school students in Illinois and Missouri by more than 50 community colleges and universities. Test material is drawn from senior high school and freshman level college curricula and is written by teams of college and university faculty. The level of difficulty increases at each stage.

“We had a really strong showing at both regionals and sectionals,” said Mrs. Cate Majka, who accompanied the team with fellow physics teacher, Mrs. Jan Grana, to both regional and sectional competitions. “It speaks to the rigor of our schoolwide curriculum.”

Service Snapshot: Toby Schwartz ’17

SCHWARTZToby Schwartz ’17 has carved out a unique volunteer role over the last eight years, and he says it has changed his life. Toby is a young leader with the Barrington-based organization “Chess Without Borders” but his involvement goes beyond the chessboard.

While the organization promotes the game of chess and hosts local tournaments for students in the Barrington area, another driving force is its fundraising aspect, mostly for causes in Third World countries.

Club members have donated chess sets and textbooks to schools in this country as well as in Nigeria, Sudan, India, Malaysia, Thailand, Chile, Cambodia and the Marshall Islands.

“I really believe in the organization’s mission, that chess brings people together and you don’t need to speak the same language to play a game of chess,” Toby says, “but I’m much more involved in sponsoring tournaments and fundraising.”

A grand champion chess master, Yuri Shulman, started the organization in 1998. He is a native of Belarus, and he has encouraged a broader, world view of his young students, and Toby has benefitted from that vision.

He describes being involved in the fundraising activities for an impoverished 4-year old girl in India, Meher, who was severely burned. Chess Without Borders raised thousands of dollars for her surgeries and has continued to help provide her with a computer and other equipment.

“She’s 12 now and doing really well,” Toby says.

He also describes working to raise money to establish a computer center for children in New Delhi. Located within the Project Why School, the computer center has brought computer literacy and chess education to about 200 families.

“(Working with Chess Without Borders) has expanded what I think about the world so much,” Toby says. “It’s taught me about being open-minded and to focus on something bigger than myself.”

Toby’s work has not gone unnoticed. He has received the President’s Service Award from the White House, as well as a certificate from Jane Goodall’s Roots and Shoots program, and a Daily Point of Light award, to name just a few.

Even without all the recognition, Toby describes his volunteer efforts with Chess Without Borders as rewarding and he hopes his story will inspire others to get involved in a project.

“Take a chance on something that helps people,” Toby says. “Put yourself out there and do something positive. You never know, one small thing can have this huge impact.”

For Second Straight Year, Saint Viator Student Scores Perfect ACT Score

180033Thomas Stanila ’18 is on a roll. On Thursday, he helped lead Saint Viator’s Academic Team by taking fourth in biology—in the state—in the Academic Challenge, sponsored by the University of Illinois and its Worldwide Youth in Science and Engineering initiative.

On Wednesday, he learned he nailed a perfect 36 on the ACT.

Not a bad week.

“I had taken (the ACT) before, but had always fell short,” Thomas says. “I thought maybe this might be the time when I got it right.”

He credits his teachers and classes at Saint Viator with helping him prepare for the ACT.

“In my classes, I learned to take a more analytical look at the text and to look for a deeper meaning,” Thomas says. “That was cultivated here. I really think the rigor of the coursework helped me succeed.”

Thomas manages a heavy academic load of five AP courses, while also participating on the math and academic teams and serving as the world editor on the Viator Voice. When he’s not in school, he performs in the Elgin Youth Symphony on violin. In fact, it was through his music that he first experienced Saint Viator.

IMG_4223 (1)The summer before his freshman year, Thomas was among the 120 students to attend the second Service & Song camp, started by Fr. Corey Brost, CSV, and sponsored by the Campus Ministry office.

He arrived with his violin in hand, not knowing anyone else and feeling a little overdressed.

“Once we started breaking into small groups, talking about music, I opened up,” he says. “And after we played (with the choir), everybody called me the ‘violin boy,’ and I started meeting people. Then I was fine.”

Thomas started playing at school liturgies with the music ministry class his freshman year and each summer he has returned to the Service & Song camp, now as a leader and mentor.

Stephen Hannon '17 and Thomas Stanila '18 at the WYSE state competition.

Stephen Hannon ’17 and Thomas Stanila ’18 at the WYSE state competition.

Now that Thomas has secured his perfect ACT score, his options for colleges have opened up. He dreams of attending an Ivy League school and he feels that his experience at Saint Viator will help to set him apart, particularly with its emphasis on service.

“It’s such a rigorous academic environment, and all my teachers have encouraged me to cultivate my skills,” he says, “but through service, I’ve learned that it is equally as important to apply those skills to the world.”

Saint Viator Students Visit Northwestern Lab on the Forefront of Physical Therapy Intervention

IMG_2703Saint Viator students enjoyed a rare treat on their first day of their Easter break holiday—but it had nothing to do with candy.

On April 13, students in Saint Viator’s STEM program traveled to the cutting edge the physical therapy and human movement sciences department at Northwestern’s Feinberg School of Medicine, where they saw some of the department’s novel approach to rehabilitation therapy.

Its laboratory-based research is focused on movement and rehabilitation science, spanning basic animal physiology, quantitative human research, and clinical applications through the development of therapeutic devices and interventions.

Students spoke with biomedical engineers, exercise physiologists, neurologists and physical therapists. They also experienced firsthand some of these therapeutic devices and interventions while visiting four different physical therapy research labs.

The first was a physics-centered lab where they had reflectors attached to their legs and were filmed walking so that the computer could analyze their gate. Students were also hooked up to a harness that took weight off of their body to see how it adjusts and affects gait and they walked on a body perturbing treadmill that could shake them left and right or speed up one leg more than the other to simulate uneven territory and slipping.

IMG_2710Students then visited an ultrasound lab that allows researchers to investigate nerves and muscles without needing radiation or expensive MRI’s, before making their way to a lab that is doing research on how to help children with cerebral palsy.

“We were introduced to a Go Baby, which is a modified child’s electric riding car that helps children with limited mobility get around,” said Mrs. Paula Nicolau, STEM coordinator. “It is our hope that we might be able to be connected with a family in need of one of these that we could modify as a group.”

Finally, the group visited a robotic lab that helps those with strokes or other ailments that have left them weak on one side. The robot takes weight off of the patient to help them move their arm and then gradually adds weight to help them strengthen the affected limb. They also monitor electrical impulses to the brain to research which part of the brain takes over for the damaged section.

IMG_2704The field trip to Northwestern’s physical therapy labs counted as one of the four experiences needed by students in Saint Viator’s new STEM program, which was designed for those students who are considering a college major in science, technology, engineering or math.

Mrs. Mary Lee DeBelina, assistant principal, commended the students for giving up their day off of school to make the trip, but she suspects it made an impact.

“These field trips are important,” she said. “Through our STEM program, students are encouraged to have out of school, real-life exposure to medical and engineering fields.”

Saint Viator Welcomes Businesses to Support Summer Work Study and Internship Program

Alex Thorn

Alex Thorn ’17 with the Würth Group IT department. 

As a 1988 graduate of Saint Viator High School, Tom O’Neill—CEO of the Würth Group in Vernon Hills—wanted to support the school’s Summer Work Study and Internship Program. What he got, in hiring Alex Horne of Buffalo Grove last summer was a much bigger return on his investment than O’Neill ever expected.

“I have to say, Alex did more for our company than we did for Alex,” O’Neill says. “His attitude and willingness to take on new projects changed the culture of our IT department.”

Alex started with sorting documents but he quickly moved up to resizing images to fit Google’s size requirement and learning HTML in order to code large images on the company’s website.

He also earned valuable dollars toward his tuition this year. Saint Viator’s innovative program places interns at work sites of participating business partners, who contribute $3,000 toward the student’s tuition.

Saint Viator always seeks to add more corporate partners. This year’s list includes Arthur J. Gallagher & Co. in Rolling Meadows, Directions AV in Schaumburg, Kelleher & Buckley in North Barrington, Lavelle Law in Palatine, Midwest Glaucoma Center in Hoffman Estates, Rose Packing Company in South Barrington, and MotherG, an IT support company in Itasca, to name a few.

Nonprofits include Catholic Charities in Des Plaines, Faith Community Homes in Arlington Heights and Journeys and the Road Home in Palatine. Nonprofit jobs are sponsored by generous individuals, who cannot provide jobs themselves but want to support the program.

At each site, students work five, eight-hour days for a period of six weeks during the summer. Ideally, Saint Viator tries to pair the student with a company or organization that reflects the student’s interest.

Take the internship at Arthur J. Gallagher & Co., a global insurance broker and risk management firm. This will be the third summer that Gallagher has taken on a Saint Viator intern. In the past, they have worked in human resources as well as in the sales department, assisting with requests from large accounts for insurance quotes and proposals.

“We want to provide a working environment that gets them accustomed to the expectations of global organization,” says Marcus Henthorn, area vice president, “by providing them with project-based deadlines, requiring them to work with multiple teams, and giving them the Fortune 500 experience while they are in still in high school.”

Gallagher already had an established sales internship in place for college students in which to draw from for this high school experience.

“Our goal is to provide them with a paired down version of our college summer internship program,” says Eric Taylor, director of global talent management, “so they can take their experiences to the next level and be ahead of their peers.”

Frank Patzke, owner of Guidant Wealth Advisors in Palatine, is bringing on a Saint Viator intern for the first time this summer. As the father of two Saint Viator graduates, he was drawn to helping other young people afford its tuition and he also sought to introduce the financial industry to an interested student.

“We see it as an opportunity to let a high school student see what the professional work environment is all about,” Patzke said, “and get a sense of what it is to work in a small business.”

Companies or individuals interested in sponsoring a Saint Viator intern should contact Kirsten Nozime, coordinator of the Summer Work Study and Internship Program. Call her at 847-392-4050, ext. 268, or email her, at KNozime@saintviator.com.

Girls’ Soccer Team Pays it Forward to Residents of St. Coletta of Wisconsin

IMG_2265Just three months after Saint Viator soccer coach Mike Taylor was honored for encouraging his athletes to make a difference on and off the field, he’s at it again, this time accompanying the girls’ soccer team in making a donation to St. Coletta’s of Wisconsin.

The organization was founded in 1904, and it continues to be inspired by the Franciscan mission of compassion, dignity, and respect, in serving adults with developmental disabilities.

Its main residential facility is located in Jefferson, WI, but St. Coletta’s now serves adults in the Northwest suburbs, who live in 10 homes in the area and attend programs at a resource center in Rolling Meadows.

IMG_2254Team members presented Mr. Ted Behncke, president of St. Coletta of Wisconin, with a check for $2,000 at one of the regular Tuesday evening Masses celebrated by Fr. Charles Bolser, CSV, a former president of Saint Viator.

Funds had been raised through a challenge hosted by Buddy’s Helpers, the charity arm of the PepsiCo Showdown, the country’s largest high school soccer tournament which had honored Taylor in January.

Saint Viator’s soccer team and coaches placed second in the challenge and they chose to donate their funds to St. Coletta, in part because of Fr. Bolser’s involvement with the organization and its local residents.

“Going forward, I’d like to start a conversation about how my players and coaches could contribute some of their time to help serve your organization in a way you see fit,” Assistant Coach T.J. King told St. Coletta officials. “We’re looking forward to working together.”

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