Three RIHS Seniors Receive Recognition at the Young Women of Achievement Luncheon
Three Rock Island High School young women were recognized as Young Women of Achievement at the 2012 Young Women of Achievement Luncheon hosted by the Women’s Connection and the Girl Scouts of Eastern Iowa and Western Illinois.
The event was held at the Waterfront Convention Center on Thursday, June 7. University of Iowa Head Women’s Basketball Coach Lisa Bluder served as the keynote speaker.
“Each of our 2012 honorees is using her unique talents and abilities to make a positive impact. These young women are our future business and community leaders. It’s important to raise them up and honor their leadership, selflessness and hard work,” said Colleen Rafferty, the executive director of The Women’s Connection.
Jalea Jackson: A senior at Rock Island High School, Jalea Jackson of Rock Island is on the Principal’s List, a Charles O. Austin Scholar, a member of the National Honor Society, National Society of High School Scholars, Letterman’s Club, Chemistry Club and the Minority Teacher Incentive Program. Named an Illinois State Scholar and a top-10 student in her class, Jackson is also a track standout at Rock Island. She is a Western Big Six conference champion in track and was named to the metro all-star team. She volunteers extensively with the Martin Luther King Jr. Community Center, the Illinois/Iowa Center for Independent Living, United Way of the Quad-Cities Area, the Girl Scouts, Bethany for Children & Families and Grace Bible Church. Jackson also initiated and led fundraising efforts, including a benefit concert, raffle and donation plan, for a $10,000 kitchen renovation at theplace2b, a shelter for homeless and displaced teens.
Jillian Jespersen: A senior at Rock Island High School, Jillian Jespersen of Rock Island is vice president of the National Honor Society, a Charles O. Austin Scholar, a recipient of the Dorothy Raush Math Award and co-valedictorian of her class. She is Student Senate treasurer, a six-year participant in 4-H and has received the Rock Island Medal of Honor and Model of Excellence Every Day awards. Her volunteerism includes the Martin Luther King Jr. Community Center, the Student Hunger Drive, Student Blood Drive and tutoring English Language Learners. An animal lover, she also volunteers for a local horse rescue, and she has won several grand champion awards in dog handling and equestrian events. An accomplished and award-winning artist, she has exhibited at the annual Venus Envy women’s art show and the Quad-City Arts show. Her art has been featured at the Rock Island High School Art Show at the Rock Island Public Library.
Mia Kavensky: A senior at Rock Island High School, Mia Kavensky of Rock Island is in the top 10 in her class, a member of the National Honor Society, the Gold Honor Roll and is listed in Who’s Who Among All-American Scholars. As student council president, she chaired the blood drive and serves as co-president of the Letterman’s Club. She played varsity soccer, helped lead the golf team to regionals and received the Illinois High School Association Scholastic Achievement Award. A member of Teens for Tomorrow, Kavensky danced for five years in the Ballet Quad-Cities production of “The Nutcracker,” has been a member of the Quad-City Music Guild Children’s Chorus and has performed with the Playcrafters Barn Theatre and Ghostlight Theatre. She attended the North American Federation of Temple Youth regional conference, participated in a Darfur rally in Chicago to support famine relief efforts in Africa and lobbied in Washington, D.C., for victims of domestic violence. Her volunteerism includes Café on Vine and Camp Rainbow in St. Louis.
Jillian Jespersen received one of the $2,500 scholarship awards from Royal Neighbors of America.
“I am extremely proud of these young women and their accomplishments,” said Rock Island-Milan Schools Superintendent Dr. Mike Oberhaus. “All three lead by example and are remarkable young women.”