Jason Baumann

Brookfield resident and business owner Jason Baumann was recognized by Make-A-Wish Illinois as one of the organization’s outstanding volunteers during National Volunteer Week in April.

Baumann, the owner of Boxless Media, a full-service digital marketing agency, was awarded the Commitment to Community, Group Award from Make-A-Wish for “for creating connection and inclusion in the community by building awareness and support for wishes.”

“Jason and those from Boxless have created beautiful videos for families to enjoy and for Make-A-Wish to share with supporters,” the Make-A-Wish website states. “With their connections across the area, Boxless has also been able to enhance wishes by involving local first responders for exciting wish send offs, parades and even for granting wishes. Their expertise in digital media was especially helpful as Jason consulted with a teen whose wish was to build a gaming computer.”

Komarek teacher wins grant

Chante Gordon

Chante Gordon, a second-grade teacher at Komarek School District 94 in North Riverside has received a $350 grant through Western Governors University’s Fund My Classroom initiative.

The funds will be used to purchase sensory tools to create a calming corner in Gordon’s classroom for her students to go when they are experiencing big emotions and to practice self-regulation skills. WGU staff surprised Gordon with a check presentation at the school on May 2.

The innovative classroom project was one of 27 across Illinois chosen by WGU to receive funding.

Welcome aboard

Rachel Jacobs

The village of Riverside announced May 10 that Rachel Jacobs has been selected as the behavioral health counselor available to help police officers during calls for service. Jacobs’ expertise comes through the village’s recent contract with Amita Health and a grant from the Riverside Township Mental Health Board for the services of a mental health counselor to assist police.

Officers regularly find people involved in calls for service are experiencing a mental health crisis. Now officers will be able to request help from Jacobs, either immediately if she is onsite or via referral.

Jacobs holds a master’s of forensic psychology from the Chicago School of Professional Psychology and among other things has offered community-based individual and family therapy for court mandated treatment. Most recently she served as a clinical counselor for adults with developmental and intellectual disabilities.

On campus

Isabella Shelton, of North Riverside, was among the more than 3,000 students receiving degrees from the University of Mississippi in May. Shelton received a Bachelor of Arts in journalism and new media.

Riverside resident Jeanene E. Splitt was one of more than 3,600 students awarded degrees from the University of Nebraska on May 13-14 in Lincoln. Splitt received a Bachelor of Journalism degree.

Avery Bowen, of Brookfield, was recently initiated into the Honor Society of Phi Kappa Phi, the nation’s oldest all-discipline collegiate honor society. Bowen was initiated at the University of Illinois. 

Meanwhile, North Riverside resident Elisa Revello was initiated into the DePaul University chapter of Phi Kappa Phi. Only the top 10 percent of seniors and 7.5 percent of juniors are eligible for membership.

Riverside resident Jack Sagan received the T.W & H.B. Prins Endowed Memorial Scholarship for the 2021-22 academic year from Central College in Pella, Iowa. Sagan is a member of the Class of 2022 and was recognized for his achievement at the school’s 2022 Scholarship Dinner in May.

Riverside residents Hannah Briones, Grave DiBartolomeo and Shalah Russell were all named to the spring 2022 dean’s list at Washington University in St. Louis for attaining a semester grade-point average of at least 3.6 on a 4-point scale.

Brookfield resident Adam Almuhtaseb was one of six members of the Lyons Township High School Business Professionals of America who competed at the annual National BPA Leadership Conference in Dallas. Almuhtaseb competed in 200 Fundamental Word Processing and 340 Java Programming-IT Specialist Java.

Two Brookfielders were among the Lyons Township High School Lion newspaper staff receiving awards at the Northern Illinois Press Association and the Journalism Education Association contests.

In the NISPA 2022 spring contest senior Abraham Morales won a blue ribbon in Multimedia for his online coverage “Dia de los Muertos” while senior Grace Moore won an honorable mention in Column Writing for “Put an end to social media in school programs.”

At the 2022 Illinois Journalism Education Association Awards, Morales picked up several honors, including first place for Multimedia Story Package, second place for Front Page Design and honorable mentions in Infographic and Single-Page Story Package.

Brookfield residents Brianna Episcopo, Jenna Gombis, Sarah O’Riley and Duska Richert were among the 25 members of the Lyons Township High School chapter of the National Honors Society to have demonstrated a sustained commitment to volunteer service and qualified for the Presidential Service Award, given to those who meet service hour requirements.

The four student all were awarded a bronze award for performing between 100 and 174 hours of volunteer service.

Several members of the Family, Career and Community Leaders of America (FCCLA) club at Riverside-Brookfield High School earned awards at the FCCLA state competition. Sophia Richter not only won a gold medal in Frosted Cakes, but she also merited a Most Outstanding award in the category. Izabella Morrissey also earned a gold medal in Frosted Cakes.

Lara Huns earned a silver medal in Frosted Cakes, Level 3, while Amaya Jackson earned a bronze medal in Fashion Apparel Display.