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Naperville 203 High School Senior Wins $40K College Board Opportunity Scholarship for Staying on Path to College

During a live segment on ABC’s Good Morning America on March 31, the College Board surprised 25 class of 2021 students from across the country with $40,000 scholarships for completing the college planning steps laid out in the College Board Opportunity Scholarships program.  Naperville 203 student Vivek Ily, a senior at Naperville North High School, was among the recipients of its Complete Your Journey Opportunity Scholarship winners announced. These twenty-five students in the class of 2021 from across the country earned a total of $1 million toward their education by completing the steps in the College Board Opportunity Scholarships program—steps that help them plan, prepare, and pay for college.

“Naperville 203 congratulates Vivek Ily on this incredible honor,” said Dan Bridges, Superintendent of Schools, Naperville 203.  “Vivek exemplifies our mission of self-directed learners, collaborative workers, complex thinkers, quality producers, and community contributors.  We are so proud of his achievements and this scholarship will help make his college dreams a reality.”

Vivek Ily plans to attend the University of Illinois at Chicago (UIC) in the fall of 2021.  During his time at Naperville North, Vivek participated in the Varsity Science Olympiad, Scholastic Bowl, Science Bowl, Math Team, National Honors Society and tennis team.  Outside of school, Vivek participates in numerous community service and career development activities including REALITY Illinois Teen Board for the Dupage Health Department and the Northwestern Medicine Discovery Program. 

More than 1 million students from all 50 states have joined the College Board Opportunity Scholarships program since it launched in December 2018. Students have won more than $10 million in scholarships. In addition to the 25 $40,000 Complete Your Journey winners from the class of 2021, nearly 4,000 students from 49 states, the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico, and the U.S. Virgin Islands earned $3.6 million in smaller scholarships ranging from $500 to $2,000. 

“This scholarship is for every student, no matter their background or what school they attend. It’s about giving all students a chance to raise their hands and be seen,” said College Board CEO David Coleman. “These 25 students are as diverse and strong as the country we call home; they come from small towns, cities, and everywhere in between. What unites them is that they have overcome adversity and taken a series of small steps to earn themselves a big future.”

The College Board has dedicated $25 million over 5 years to the program that lays out 6 simple steps all students can take to get to college. Research shows that completing specific steps can help clarify the complex college planning process, especially for low-income and first-generation students. When students finish all 6 steps, they’ll be entered into the drawing for a $40,000 scholarship. Class of 2022 students who opt in now and get started by building their college list on BigFuture by June 30 will be eligible for the next $40,000 Complete Your Journey scholarship. 

For additional information on the winners and to help class of 2022 students sign up to begin earning scholarships now, click here.

Vivek Ily