The YWCA of Alton proudly announces the winners of the Josephine Marley Beckwith Future Leader (JMBFL) Scholars for 2015: 

Taylor Tartar

Kaylee Fritz

Eric’el Johnson

Mallory Stimac

These four young women are not only excellent scholars, just as importantly; they are leaders in the movement towards empowerment, respect and dignity for all!

Taylor Tartar, VP 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. 

Kaylee Fritz, Eric’el Johnson and Mallory Stimac have all excelled in college and have earned a renewal of their JMBFL Awards.

Kaylee 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.

Eric’el, 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. 

Mallory, 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 Ms. Beckwith constantly motivate me.  I will make a difference!” 

These young women will be introduced along with this year’s Women of Distinction at a reception Sunday, April 19th at the YWCA, 314 East Third, Alton, at 2:00.   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 everyone to attend the 25th Women of Distinction Dinner, 6:00 p.m. April 30, 2015 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, 465-7774.  Tables of 10 are $600.  Cash bar will be available. 


About the YWCA

The YWCA is the voice for every woman.  For over a century, the YWCA has spoken out and taken action on behalf of women and girls. The YWCA is dedicated to eliminating racism, empowering women and promoting peace, justice, freedom and dignity for all. Over 2 million people participate each year in YWCA programs at more than 1,300 locations across the U.S. Worldwide, the YWCA serves more than 25 million women and girls in 125 countries.

Established in 1918, the YWCA of Alton serves the communities of southwestern Illinois with the mission to eliminate racism, empower women and promote peace, justice, freedom and dignity for all.  

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