PEORIA, Ill. (WMBD) — The Peoria Public Schools Foundation recognized 24 seventh grade girls for their achievements in math, awarding them with the Deirdre Purcell Collins Math Award Wednesday, April 21.

Deirdre Purcell Collins was a Bradley University graduate from Peoria, and a high school and college math teacher. When she died of cancer in 2006, Collins’s mother dedicated this award in her daughter’s memory, honoring her life and passion for supporting women in math studies.

Cindy Morris, President of the Peoria Public Schools Foundation, said her favorite thing about the award is that it represents “a mother’s love for her daughter.”

“This is a really special way to remember her and to honor girls like her daughter,” Morris said.

Each girl received a medal and a goodie bag, as well as the chance to apply for a scholarship to Illinois Central College’s “College for Kids” summer program.

Six recipients of the scholarship will be announced at the end of April.

The 2021 honorees and their schools are:

Calvin Coolidge Middle School: Aniah Douglas & Tylea Kirkwood
Glen Oak Learning Center: Deriah Cooper & Kiandra Green
Harrison Community Learning Center: Daralee Maciel & Kimberly Fernandez Nieto
Lincoln K-8 School: Amy Alvarado & Estrella Gutierrez
Lindbergh Middle School: Miley Ngo & Addison Sharpe
Mark Bills Middle School: Jasmine Bisping & Alisha Lovingood
Rolling Acres Middle School: Mireya Montesdeoco & Gabriela Romero
Roosevelt Magnet School: Aniya Johnson & Nahayven Stringer
Sterling Middle School: Nakyia Owens & Kyleigh Rauen Bouchez
Trewyn K-8 School: Nyanna Payton & Kiara Snow
Von Steuben Middle School: Kayla Little & Riyannah Wright
Washington Gifted Middle School: Lillian Arvin & Lluvia Rodriguez