Congratulations on another amazing year in Junior League!
Our May General Membership Meeting and Annual Dinner was full of laughter, thanks, and recognition of amazing women in our community and League. It was truly a night for celebrating women in all stages of life: from those graduating high school to our own members becoming JLCU sustaining members.
High School Scholarship Presentation
Seven young women from the CU community were presented with college scholarships of $500. These women were chosen by their respective schools based on their commitment to voluntarism, school activities, and leadership. Since 1997, over $29,000 in scholarships has been awarded. These graduates represent the next generation of inspiring and amazing women.
Hannah Sweeney, Urbana High School
Leah Roberts, Central High School
Jenna Clark, Judah Christian High School
Sarah Zhang, University High School
Margaret Akinleye, Centennial High School
Kayleigh Doyle, The High School of St. Thomas Moore
First in the Family Scholarship: Destiny Thompson, Centennial High School
Member & Community Award Presentations
We also presented awards to Junior League members in recognition of their courage, spirit, and hard work. The Elizabeth Alexander Spirit Award is given to a member who demonstrates dedication to the JLCU mission, commitment to service, a willingness to step forward to ensure the job gets done and put the needs of the community ahead of her own, and, most importantly, consistently inspires others with optimism and spirit. This year, Kristen Sackley won, and we can’t think of anyone more deserving! Kristen was nominated by Mary Wakefield.
The Sustainer Impact award is given to a current Sustaining member of JLCU who has significantly impacted the community and continues to be involved in non-profits and voluntarism while also supporting the mission of JLCU.
This year, Ryann Monahan won for her incredible dedication to the community. In founding Project Athletes, Ryann identified a need, assessed the viability, and built an organization that supports young adults in Champaign Urbana and provides them the training, mentorship, and skills needed to be healthy and successful. Ryann, in accepting the award, noted that only through her time, experiences, and connections in JLCU was she able to build Project Athletes. Ryann was nominated by JLCU past-president, Heather Vazquez. Congratulations, Ryann!
The Jen Smith Living Legendary Award is provided to any JLCU member or community partner who demonstrates a commitment to the welfare of women in the community and/or educating the community on a specific cause or issues, who lives the mission of JLCU, and who inspires women to reach their dreams through courage, strength, and love for others.
This year’s winner is Jaclyn Monroe MacMillan; a current nutrition and dietetics student, health advocate, hard working mother, and organizer for Champaign Unit 4 schools. She has organized and planned wellness fairs, started an after school program, and still has time to put herself through school. We are thrilled to recognize this incredible community member! Jaclyn was nominated by Erin Tarr.
With heavy hearts we also transitioned ten amazing women to Sustainer status. These women represent a combined 86 years of JLCU service and 26 leadership positions. What incredible work and dedication!
2017 New JLCU Sustainer Members:
Annual Gavel Pass of Past Presidents to New President
We ended the meeting with the annual passing of the gavel. Jenn Romine says good-bye to the presidency having done incredible, inspiring work to improve the League. From new offices to a new website, Jenn has lead us through an extremely rewarding year, and we will certainly miss her.
Into her shoes steps Jenette Jurcyzk: our new president! After the gavel was passed through eight former presidents, it landed in her hands. Jenette used this opportunity to give us a bird’s eye view of 85 amazing years of JLCU and what the next 85 can look like. Our impact on the lives of women, children, babies, victims, survivors, members, advocates, and more can only grow in time.
As she said, Junior League is truly about being part of something bigger than yourself.