Meet Our Scholars

“That was a moment for me. I couldn’t believe that my story mattered.”

Cherry Scholars come from all walks of life. Some are recent graduates and others have put their dreams of a college education on hold for a few years.

They have four characteristics in common:

  • They are graduates of Evanston Township High School.
  • They are determined to pursue college degrees that will lead to careers in education and youth work.
  • They are late bloomers, many of them faced with life challenges.
  • They are asking for a helping hand from the community they hope to serve.

2017 Cherry Scholars

See a short video of our newest award winners.

2016 Cherry Scholars

Becerra-2016Jocelyn Becerra is a freshman at Dominican University in River Forest where she is studying to become a pediatric nurse. She is actively involved in the Organization for Latin American Students and First in the Family, an organization for first-generation college students. She also volunteers at the Broadview Detention Center, where she works with families facing deportation.

Bernadel-2016Sydney Bernadel is a 2016 ETHS graduate who plans to pursue a degree in athletic training in college and a doctorate in physical therapy. She would like to work as a trainer in a high school and then go on to help accident victims recover from their injuries in a children’s hospital. 

Brown-2016Nate Brown is the son of Danny Brown, who won the first Warren Cherry Scholarship. Nate plans to work with juvenile delinquents and is studying criminal justice at the University of Dubuque.  He has volunteered for several service projects, including Feed My Starving Children, The Night Ministry and EMBODI (Empowering Males to Build Opportunities for Developing Independence).


Buckley-2016Jermya Buckley is a senior at University of Illinois–Chicago who will graduate with degrees in sociology and criminal law and justice. She plans to pursue a master’s in educational planning. Jermya  she made the dean’s list at UIC with a 3.6 GPA while working two jobs and being a cheerleading coach.


DaCosta-2016Preston DaCosta is a repeat Cherry award winner who will graduate from Northeastern Illinois University this year with a degree in elementary education and a minor in earth science. Preston would like to teach 7th grade science in District 65 as well as bring his basketball coaching experience back to Evanston.


Daye-2016Gerald Daye is preparing to graduate from Eastern Illinois University with a degree in mass communications and a minor in African American studies. He would like to work with youth in Evanston. Gerald has worked with the McGaw YMCA as a day-camp counselor and a member of the Y’s Foster Reading Center at Family Focus.

Garcia-2016Ruby Garcia is a previous Cherry award winner who attends Illinois Wesleyan University, where she is pursuing a double major in Hispanic studies and interdisciplinary education. She plans to teach English in the Peace Corps and go on to graduate school to study speech pathology.


Guy-2016Andrea Guy is a former Cherry award winner and a sophomore at Lake Forest College studying elementary education. She wants to become an elementary school teacher. She worked as a teacher’s assistant in District 65 for two years and at Family Focus for one year. She is very active at Lake Forest College but still finds time for volunteering in the Evanston community.


Harvey-2016Former Cherry award winner Mylisha Harvey is studying psychology at Dominican University in River Forest. After visiting a DCFS child shelter with her mother at the age of 5, she realized that she wanted to work with children and make their lives better.  She hopes to return to Evanston and work with young people.


Hernandez-2016Christopher Hernandez  is a sophomore at the University of Dayton where he plans to major in adolescent/young adult education. After earning his degree, he wants to return to Evanston to teach and make himself available as a resource to struggling students. Chris is achieving at high level academically and is a member of the university boxing club.


Lang-2016Sylvannah Lang graduated from ETHS in 2016. After college, she plans to go to medical school and become a pediatric neurologist. Sylvannah lists volunteering among the activities that give her the most satisfaction. She is a member of the National Honor Society and winner of the “Y” Women of Achievement Award in Education.



Manton-2016A 2016 graduate of ETHS, Samantha Manton plans to attend the University of Iowa and double-major in psychology and education. Samantha knows she wants to work with children. She also wants to pursue her passion for coaching and will be working toward a coaching certification.


Reynosa-2016Karen Reynosa is a repeat Cherry award winner and a student at Augustana College who wants to pursue a career in elementary education. She came to this decision after working with children with disabilities during a summer program sponsored by the City of Evanston last year. She also volunteers in an after-school program in the Quad Cities, where she tutors and mentors low-income students.


Rosales-2016Former Cherry award winner Anamaria Rosales is studying early childhood education with a concentration in Spanish at the University of Illinois. She is a member of La Colectiva Mentorship Program, Epsilon Delta Professional Teaching Organization and the Lambda Theta Alpha Latin Sorority.  Anamaria wants to come back to Evanston and teach.


Russell-2016Dajah Russell is a former Cherry award winner who is majoring in elementary education at Western Illinois University and plans to become a teacher. She is a member of the Black Student Association and volunteers with the Campus Girl Scouts, helping Girl Scout troops around Macomb.


Salgado-2016Yuli Salgado  is a 2016 ETHS graduate who is planning to attend Augustana College or Northeastern University this fall and study early childhood education. She has volunteered at the Howard Area Community Center, Oakton and Washington schools, ESSCA and with Evanston Scholars. Yuli will be the first person in her family to attend college.


Alanna Williams is an education major at University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign. A former Cherry scholarship winner, she plans to teach, as well as create programs to support minority and low-income students. At U of I, Alanna is sisterhood chair of My Sister’s Keeper, an organization designed to support young girls.


Steele-2016Aisha Steele is a 2016 graduate of ETHS. She hopes to attend the University of Miami and major in nursing with the goal of becoming a neonatal nurse. Aisha was a four-year varsity cheerleader and volunteers for the Dajae Coleman Foundation to help empower youth.


Cherry Scholars


Marcus Brown, ETHS 2010
Nat Brown, ETHS 2015
Nancy Cardenas, ETHS 2013
Preston DaCosta, ETHS 2004
Andrea Guy, ETHS 2015
Mylisha Harvey, ETHS 2015
Alando Massie, ETHS 1991
Karen Reynosa, ETHS 2015
Anamaria Rosales, ETHS 2014
Dajah Russell, ETHS 2015
Alexzandria Saunders, ETHS 2011


Marcus Brown, ETHS 2010
Denise Clarke, ETHS 2005
Preston DeCosta, ETHS 2004
Ruby Garcia, ETHS 2013
Andrea Guy, ETHS 2014
Alando Massie, ETHS 1991
Jessica Nelson, ETHS 2014
Taina Oliver, ETHS 2014
Matias Orbea, ETHS 2002
Anamaria Rosales, ETHS 2014
Alexzandria Saunders, ETHS 2011


Maria Patino Caban, ETHS 1996
Tilly-Ana Ceriser, ETHS 2010
Denise Clarke, ETHS 2005
Preston DeCosta, ETHS 2004
Alana Long, ETHS 2013
Alando Massie, ETHS 1991
Rashana Nicks, ETHS 2013
Matias Orbea, ETHS 2002
Alexzandria Saunders, ETHS 2011
Sage Siler, ETHS 2011
Chantel Washington, ETHS 1988
Alana Williams, ETHS 2013


Janell Bradley, ETHS 2008
Alicia Carletto, ETHS 2009
Tilly-Ann Ceriser, ETHS 2010
Shira Englehart, ETHS 2004

Nicole Jones, ETHS 1990
Marcus Miller, Jr., ETHS 2009
Bethany Mullins, ETHS 2009
Matias Orbea, ETHS 2002
Sage Siler, ETHS 2011
Elrick Thompson, ETHS 2009
Angel Wharton, ETHS 2012


Tilly Ana Ceriser, ETHS 2010
Nicole Cruz, ETHS 2011
Nicole Jones, ETHS 1990
Danyale Locke, ETHS 2009
Marcus Miller, Jr., ETHS 2009
Bethany Mullins, ETHS 2009
Matias Orbea, ETHS 2002
Brianna Ransom, ETHS 2011
Jeremy Reilly, ETHS 2003
Sage Siler, ETHS 2011
Simone Teamer, ETHS 2011
Elrick Thompson, ETHS 2009
Cynja Valcin, ETHS 2011
Chantel Washington, ETHS


Tilly Ana Ceriser, ETHS 2010
Ruth Etrenne, ETHS 2010
Danyale Locke, ETHS 2009
Marcus Miller, Jr., ETHS 2009
Deon Thompson, ETHS 2007
Elrick Thompson, ETHS 2009
Jonathan VanTreeck, ETHS 2009
Olivia Yates, ETHS 2008


Janelle Bradley, ETHS 2008
Alicia Carletto, ETHS 2009
Anastasia Hildner, ETHS 2007
Rachel Holmes, EHTHS 2007
Portia Kirk, ETHS 2008
Danyale Locke, ETHS 2009
Pamela McGee, ETHS 2009
Marcus Miller, Jr., ETHS 2009
Glenn Smith, ETHS 2009
Elrick Thompson, ETHS 2009

Jonathan VanTreeck, ETHS 2009
Brandi Williams, ETHS 2003
Olivia Yates, ETHS 2008


Joi Arceneaux, ETHS 2006
Janell Bradley, ETHS 2008
Jacqui Cooper, ETHS 2000
Alyse Edwards, ETHS 2008
Neil Elliott, ETHS 2007
Shira Engelhart, ETHS 2004
Tracey Gardner, ETHS 2008
Portia Kirk, ETHS 2000
Sheridan Merkley, ETHS 2008
Joanne St. Felix, ETHS 2008
Deon Thompson, ETHS 2007
Edson Valencia, ETHS 2008


Neil Elliot, ETHS 2007
Nicole Hildner, ETHS 2007
Darlisa Himrod, ETHS 1989
Rachel Holmes,ETHS 2007
Mary Johnston, ETHS 2007
Ida Payne, ETHS 2004
Deon Thompson, ETHS 2007


Tanya Brown, ETHS 1998
Jennifer Combs, ETHS 1999
Samantha Davis, ETHS 2006
Jasmine Frazier, ETHS 2002
Ida Payne, ETHS 2004
Dema Sabbara, ETHS 2004


James Bowen, ETHS 2003
Jonathan Bradley, ETHS
Justin Conley, ETHS 2000
Matthew Hunter, ETHS 2005
Alissa Melcer, ETHS 2002
Oyuki Miranda, ETHS 1998
Ida Payne, ETHS 2004
Dema Sabbara, ETHS 2004
Christopher Shelby, ETHS 2005


Our Scholars have gone to a wide variety of colleges and universities. Here is a list of some of the places they’ve attended:

Ball State University
Beloit College
Bethany College
Bradley University
Charleston Southern University
Clemson University
Concordia University
DePaul University
George Mason University
Hampton University
Illinois State University
Illinois Wesleyan University
Lake Forest College
Northeastern Illinois University
Northern Illinois University
Oakton Community College
Southern Illinois University
Spelman College
Trine University
University of Illinois
Western Illinois University
Wilbur Wright College