The Rotary Club of Lakewood and Rocky River awarded four college scholarships at its weekly luncheon on Monday, June 9.

Graduating seniors Teodora Bodeo and Emma McGorray from Rocky River High School and Irina Vatamanu and Neelab Abdullah from Lakewood High School each received $2,500 awards from the Lakewood-Rocky River Rotary Foundation. The scholarship program is part of over $50,000 that the club donates to the community each year.


In addition to their outstanding academic records, the four Rotary scholarship winners were chosen for extracurricular and community involvement.

Neelab Abdullah, a member of the National Honor Society, has interned at Cleveland Clinic, volunteered at Fairview Hospital and with MetroHealth’s “Doctors on the Streets.” Her work on HPV immunization for youth was published by the Society for Adolescent Health and Medicine. She has received the Bausch & Lomb Honorary Science Award, the President’s Volunteer Service Award, and was inducted into the National Technical Honor Society for Biotechnology. Neelab will pursue a pre-medicine curriculum at Baldwin Wallace University.

Teodora Bodeo, a fluent speaker of English, Spanish and Romanian, is a member of the National Honor Society and Spanish Language National Honor Society. Throughout her high school career she served as a student ambassador for the foreign exchange students, probably because Teo herself moved to this country just seven years ago. In addition to pouring herself into her studies she has also held part-time employment. She will study nursing at Cleveland State University.

Emma McGorray has the very rare distinction of being selected as a National Merit Finalist. She captained her Science Olympiad team to silver and gold medals, participated in Model United Nations, and sang in her school’s auditioned Treble Choir. Planning to study English and writing at Kenyon College, Emma is a two-time semi-finalist in the Norman Mailer/NCTE National Writing Award competition.

Irina Vatamanuhas been inducted into the National Honor Society, the French Language National Honor Society, and the National Technical Honor Society for Biotechnology. She served as president of her school’s Interact Club and Model United Nations Club. Irina has achieved AP Scholar with Distinction status and earned the President’s Volunteer Service Award. She will study biomedical engineering at Harvard College.

The local Rotary Club is part of Rotary International, a worldwide organization of more than 1.2 million business, professional, and community leaders. Members of Rotary clubs (known as Rotarians) provide humanitarian service, encourage high ethical standards in all vocations, and help build goodwill and peace in the world.

There are 33,000 Rotary clubs in more than 200 countries and geographical areas. Clubs are nonpolitical, nonreligious, and open to all cultures, races, and creeds. As signified by the motto “Service Above Self,” Rotary’s main objective is service – in the community, in the workplace, and throughout the world. To learn more, visit