Wed. Jun 23rd, 2021

Each year, The Hawk Eye asks schools in southeast Iowa and west central Illinois to nominate three students for the Bill Mertens Citizen Scholar Award. 

While eachnominee is worthy of the Citizen Scholar title, only one from each school can be selected for a chance at a $1,000 scholarship, named for The Hawk Eye’s late publisher who established it in 2001, the third year of the Citizen Scholars program.

The winner will be announced May 30.

The minimum requirement for consideration was a 3.5 grade-point average. Nominees also were expected to demonstrate a four-year career of active engagement in the life of their school and community through participation and leadership in extra-curricular activities, as well as participation in events and organizations beyond their classroom walls in the places where they live.

These students have excelled in academics, sports, service and more, each leaving their own unique mark on their schools and communities.  

More:The Hawk Eye’s 2021 Citizen Scholars shine like diamonds under pressure

Without further ado, meet The Hawk Eye’s Citizen Scholar class of 2021:

Xandra Abel

School: Central Lee High School

Parents: Matt and Richar Abel

GPA: 4.0

Volunteer hours: 32

Activities: Show choir; show band; marching band; jazz band; Pink Ledies; Dec Hands; Robotics Club; Spanish Club; Science Club; Future Problem Solving; science fair; youth and adult church choir; youth and adult bells group; church youth group; acting, audio and lighting at local theater. 

Jobs: None.

Plans after high school: Attend the University of Iowa College of Engineering, majoring in mechanical engineering, robotics and autonomous systems while minoring in Spanish, with the ultimate goal being to create a biotechnology company that designs medical prosthetics that work with the human body.