YWCA in Alton to honor Future Leaders

From Illinois Business Journal news services

The YWCA of Alton  has announced the winners of the Josephine Marley Beckwith Future Leader Scholars for 2015: Taylor Tartar, Kaylee Fritz, Eric’el Johnson and Mallory Stimac.

The young women will be introduced along with this year’s Women of Distinction at a reception Sunday, April 19, at the YWCA, 314 E. Third St., Alton, at 2 p.m.

The four young women are not only excellent scholars, but they are leaders in the movement toward empowerment, respect and dignity for all, which is a mission of the YWCA, the orrganization said.

Tartar, vice president of Community Outreach for the Student Council at Edwardsville High School, observed that many students with developmental disabilities exhibited low self-esteem. She encouraged the Student Council to design the New Friends Prom, which includes weeks of preparation. “This empowers them to be themselves and to make new friends at the Prom,” Taylor explained. “The YWCA principles of empowering young women and promotion of dignity for all led to transformations for both my new friends, and myself,” she added.

Fritz, Johnson and Stimac have all excelled in college and have earned a renewal of their Future Leaders Awards.

Fritz has expanded her core beliefs while studying nursing this year. She has learned that, “Treating everyone with dignity is definitely a learned skill.” “I have to push myself to treat everyone with respect because that is what a human does for another human,” she added.

Johnson, studying engineering at UMSL, was moved by the Ferguson events to reevaluate her role in society. Even with her demanding curriculum she now spends two Saturdays a month with the Bridge Program helping students and parents prepare for the ACT and college. She is empowering underprivileged students to pursue college and a higher standard of living.

Stimac, a pre-med student stated, “I am honored to be reconsidered for the Josephine Mallory Beckwith Future Leader Award. Being named as a Future Leader has been a distinct honor. The mission of the YWCA and the vision of Beckwith constantly motivate me. I will make a difference.”

The 25th Class of WOD includes: Louise Baker, Coleen Green, Heather Hope, Valarie McDougler, Cheryl Maguire, Tiana Montgomery, Eva Perkins, Kathryn Sharpe, Sue Weber and Bethany Wooden-Chapel.

Co-Chairs Monica Bristow and Margaret Freer invite the public to the 25th Women of Distinction Dinner, 6 p.m. April 30, at the Lewis and Clark Commons. This silver anniversary celebration will include a raffle and silent auction. Raffle tickets are $10 each and dinner reservations are $60 each both can be purchased at the YWCA, (618) 465-7774. Tables of 10 are $600. Cash bar will be available.

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