The Peoria North Rotary Club has awarded educational scholarships to two graduating Peoria Unified School District high school students.
Isabella Perry and Leah Bucher each received a $2,000 George and Willi Wheeler Scholarship during a recent club meeting. Ms. Perry attends Mountain Ridge High School and Ms. Bucher attends Peoria High School.
The George and Willi Wheeler Scholarship was created in 2023 and the two students are the first recipients. The scholarship is available to all students who currently attend a PUSD high school or Mountain Ridge High School.
The scholarship is named after two long-time club members: George and Willi Wheeler. George was a founding member of the Peoria North Rotary Club and a former Arizona Rotary District Governor. He passed away in 2022.
The object of Rotary is to encourage and foster the ideal of service as a basis of worthy enterprise. The scholarship recognizes high school students who demonstrate strong leadership skills that include opportunities to serve humanity.
The Rotary scholarship may be used for any school-related payments such as tuition, books, software and/or equipment at any accredited college, university, vocational school, or certificate program.
The Wheelers were strong supporters of education and instrumental in organizing a variety of club projects aimed at promoting literacy. The club recognizes Students of the Month at several Peoria high schools and has sponsored several book drives to benefit Peoria schools.
For the past 10 years, a signature project of the club is to purchase and distribute dictionaries to every third-grade student in the Peoria Unified School District.
“All during their dedicated careers in Rotary, the Wheelers traveled to many countries to distribute schoolbooks, administer the polio vaccine, provide computers to schools and bringing goodwill to underprivileged children,” said Steve Matthews, president of the Peoria North Rotary Club.
“Their dedication to helping children is the reason the George and Willi Scholarship was founded. It is Rotary’s desire to help as many students as possible to achieve an education and eventually hoping to eliminate poverty throughout the world.”
The club recently announced that it will award three scholarships in 2025. The application can be found at
For additional information, email the club at
Leah Bucher
Isabella Perry