The mailbox at Rachel Angles’ home was pretty full. A lot of schools were pursuing the University High School valedictorian to no avail, as she couldn’t let go of Illinois State.
“I live really close to campus, and it just felt wrong to go anywhere else,” the sophomore said. What also encouraged her to become a Redbird was the financial support she was offered, including the Lovelass Scholarship.
The award is given to a U-High student who has demonstrated leadership and service and plans to attend ISU. The scholarship was created in honor of Dr. and Mrs. Harry Lovelass. He served as U-High principal from 1949-1970. Rachel also received the highly competitive Presidential Scholarship and a Chemistry Department scholarship.
Rachel is a double major in zoology and biochemistry, with plans on becoming a veterinarian. She’s also active in the color guard with the Big Red Marching Machine, after being a leader in the color guard at U-High.
Her first experience on campus was at the age of 7, when she participated in the Illinois State University String Project, a nationally recognized program offering low-cost lessons on stringed instruments. The second of seven children, she was home-schooled by her father until high school and never expected her parents to help her pay for college.
“Even before I got the scholarships, I decided I was going to pay for college myself,” she said. “After hearing my friends talk about their debt, I’m especially grateful for the scholarships. I can focus more on my grades, and it gives me some time to save for grad school.”
Her older sister, Rebecca, is a junior at ISU. She was the family’s first U-High valedictorian and Presidential Scholar. She’s double majoring in exercise science and Spanish, with plans of becoming a physical therapist. She is also a member of Gamma Phi Circus, performing on the German Wheel.
“Scholarships allowed me to participate in extracurricular activities instead of working all the time,” Rebecca said. At one point, she had three part-time jobs.
Both have 4.0 grade point averages. Both are eager to see if their sister Sarah joins them at ISU. She too has a 4.0 as she completes her senior year at U-High.