Brooke Baker said she knew something was up when she was called to the principal's office -- and she was right.
The Freeport High School senior is one of 80 students nationwide to receive a $10,000 TEN4U scholarship from Nordstrom in recognition of her "exceptional scholastic achievement and community involvement." She was surprised with an oversized check and a new laptop by a prize patrol representing the fashion retailer.
Baker's volunteer efforts include collecting more than 500 books through "In Between the Lines," a program she created to help foster a love of reading among children. She also has shipped backpacks containing health supplies to underprivileged children locally and internationally through the Head 2 Toe Foundation, a nonprofit started by her older sister, Brea.
"This is a big blessing," said Baker, 17. "With three other siblings, it means a lot to be able to put a dent in tuition costs."
To be eligible for the scholarship, Baker said she submitted two essays and teacher recommendations to Nordstrom.
At her high school, Baker is vice president of the school chorale and a member of the student government, school newspaper and National Honor Society.