'207's Best' for November honored for community service

Photo of 207s Best for November 2017
'207 Best' for November honored for community service
Posted on 11/07/2017
Three seniors were recently honored by the Maine Township High School District 207 Board of Education as “207's Best.”  For the November honors, Mansi Bodalia, of Maine East; Emilie Kracik, of Maine South; and Elizabeth Sofinet, of Maine West, were recognized for community service.

At Maine East, Mansi’s long list of community service includes a key leadership role as Co-President of the school’s Rotary Interact Club; a role in which she largely organized last year’s chapter effort on behalf of the WGN Toy Drive, for which the Interact Club raised funds to buy more than $11,500 of toys for underprivileged children. As Co-President of the Interact Club, she has presided over a 27-percent increase in membership for the current school year. She also helped lead the way in organizing a Digital Literacy Initiative for Park Ridge senior citizens, in which students created easy-to-follow lesson plans to use Internet services. In addition, she has played significant roles in the Pedals for the Parks Bike and Trike Exchange, the Park Ridge Charity Classic 5K, Meals for Africa and the Play it Forward Tennis Tournament, the latter of which she worked with in her capacity as captain of East’s varsity girls tennis team. Mansi told the Board she plans to study accounting at either the University of Illinois or Emory University.
At Maine South, Emilie turned to community service after injuries sidelined her athletic participation. Emilie has served as Key Club President; was a member of the School-Wide Fundraiser Club; and has volunteered for GiGi’s Playhouse and Brookdale Senior Center. She serves on peer jury for Maine Township and operated her own summer camp, which, over the past two summers, has raised more than $2,000 for GiGi’s Playhouse. She has assisted with service programs through Fashion Club, volunteering for such projects as Blanket of Dreams (making blankets for the homeless). She recently designed the T-Shirt for the school-wide fundraiser to fight Huntington’s Disease. In his introductory letter, South Principal Dr. Ben Collins quoted teacher Monique Clark as stating that “If I owned a business, I would want Emilie on my team! Not only is she inquisitive, thoughtful and dependable, but her positive outlook makes her a joy to work alongside.” Emilie told the Board she will study psychology in college.

In her introductory letter, Maine West Principal Dr. Audrey Haugan writes that Elizabeth Sofinet “has done more in the area of community service than perhaps any other student at Maine West, and any student before her.” Through her work with Maine West’s Voice for the Nameless human rights organization, she has been extensively involved with Inspiration Corporation, which helps people struggling with with poverty and homelessness move into job training and employment placement. She also has worked extensively in a variety of capacities with the Refugee One organization to assist refugee children in the Chicago area. At Maine West, she helped organize the school backpack and supply drive. In addition to her community service, Elizabeth has established a strong academic record while taking difficult courses, including several Advanced Placement courses. Elizabeth told Board members that she will continue community service in college while majoring in chemistry.

The “207's Best’ program recognizes outstanding students monthly throughout the school year.  Academic achievement awards are given in two months. Awards for community service, fine arts, improved performance, elective area of achievement, technology leader/innovator and extracurricular achievement are given one month each. Teachers nominate students, and an executive committee makes final decisions. Honorees are then recognized by the Board of Education, which instituted the program.
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