With this story by Sarah Parisien, the RoundTable is launching “Fresh Voices of Evanston,” a partnership with Evanston Community Bank & Trust to showcase voices of young Evanston adults, foster emerging writers, and increase diversity, equity and inclusion in local journalism. Thanks to Evanston Community Bank & Trust, over the next few weeks, the RoundTable will publish 15 stories by these new writers. The RoundTable welcomes Ms. Parisien, who graduated from Evanston Township High School last year and is now studying journalism as a freshman at University of Missouri-Columbia.

In late October of last year, Roycemore School senior Katherine Rozsypalek received news of the utmost importance to her academic future: She was named a QuestBridge finalist.

QuestBridge is one of the country’s most competitive and distinguished scholarships. In order to be a finalist, a student must excel academically, scoring at least 27 on the ACT, 1280 on the SAT and ranking in the top 5%-10% of the class.

Beginning in March of her junior year of high school, Katherine applied for the College Prep Scholar Program, a program through QuestBridge that, according to its website “equips high-achieving high school juniors from low-income backgrounds with the knowledge, confidence, and resources to apply to top colleges.”

“By being a College Prep Scholar, you get access to resources that can help you apply later in the year,” Katherine explains.

After entering the College Prep Scholar Program, a student can apply for the National College Match.

“When you apply to the National College Match, you’re basically filling out a college application without the supplements for each school. The application readers at QuestBridge then decide if they want to accept you as a finalist or not. If you are accepted as a finalist, you can then choose to go through the match process or not,” Katherine says. 

Finalists who decide to participate in the matching process can rank up to 12 of the 42 schools that are in partnership with QuestBridge. Following that, the student may be matched to one of the schools they expressed interest in. If a student is not matched, the QuestBridge application is transferrable to a round of Early Decision applications, which is what happened in Katherine’s case.

On Dec. 16 of last year, Katherine was accepted to the University of Pennsylvania, where she plans to study biology. 

“It feels really great. I’m very happy to be going to such a great school,” Katherine says. 

Outside of school at Roycemore, she has devoted her time to supporting the Evanston community and being a young adult.

She volunteers as a teacher at her school’s Math Club and is a part of the school’s Science Club. For fun, she enjoys learning about environmentalism, parasitology, and art and reading James Patterson’s “Murder Games,” by James Patterson, her favorite author.

“Katie is a highly motivated and committed student who never shies away from a challenge,” says Layda Galvan, a representative of Roycemore.

Katherine expects to graduate from high school in early June and will begin at the University of Pennsylvania this fall.


Sarah Parisien is a long-time Evanston resident and journalist. She studies journalism at the University of Missouri-Columbia and takes special interest in diverse narratives and equitable writing.