ALTON - On Monday, June 5, 2023, Kennedy Stephens was named the Rotary Club of Alton-Godfrey's 2022-2023 Student of the Year. She is the 26th Student of the Year. Stephens is the daughter of Kristine and Tony Stephens of Alton and a graduate of Alton High School. She will receive a $6,000 scholarship as recognition of her outstanding academic record and participation in school and community activities.

After receiving the plaque from club president Antione Williams, Kennedy added, "I was so excited when Mr. Mayhew called me and told me I was the Student of the Year. There were so many talented and smart students to choose from, so it is really an honor. I want to thank the Alton Godfrey Rotary for selecting me as September Student of the Month and now as Student of the Year."

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Kennedy plans to attend Howard University in Washington D.C. next fall, where she plans to major in Civil Engineering. She hopes to pave the way in the Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math career fields for young girls and more specifically, young women of color, to show them that anything is possible. Her focus as an engineer will be centered around depressed inner city areas to improve infrastructure like road designs, transportation, building structural designs, bridges, and water distribution systems that would be efficient and will positively impact the disenfranchised Americans living in these areas.

Abigail Hasty received the Student of the Year scholarship last year and reviewed her first year in college at the University of Illinois in Springfield. She is studying political science and, as part of her studies, visited sessions of the Illinois Legislature and spent time with several representatives.

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