Halle Speregen, an eighth-grader at Elwood Middle School, was one of 50 students nationwide to be inducted last month into the Honor Society of the American Hebrew Academy, a Jewish college preparatory boarding school in North Carolina.
Speregen, chosen from hundreds of applicants, is eligible for a scholarship worth $20,000 per year to attend the academy.
"I felt confident, because I'm part of a lot of leadership activities at school," said Speregen, 13.
At Elwood, Speregen is vice president of the National Junior Honor Society, kickline team captain, and a member of Student Council and Young Elwood Students, a peer-support group. She is also part of a site-based management team that only includes one student per grade.
Outside of school, she is a member of BBYO, a worldwide Jewish youth organization.
"She's a great young lady," said principal Pat Scarola, noting that he selected Speregen to serve as the school's annual "principal for a day" last month based on her academic and extracurricular efforts. "She's involved in everything."
To earn the scholarship, Speregen - an aspiring broadcast journalist - will have to submit two essays and an original artwork or performance video.