VAN WERT – The 2022 YWCA Women of Achievement Scholarship Dinner was held Thursday night at the Willow Bend Country Club to celebrate the accomplishments of a dozen women from the Van Wert community. Susan J. Burchfield, LPCC-S acted as emcee and delighted the entire room with her witty persona that engulfed the room in laughter. Fourteen women were nominated to win one of eight achievement categories: professional development, advocacy, women’s empowerment, racial justice, volunteerism, youth development, civic dedication and overcoming adversity. Six students were also honored for winning scholarships for 2021 and 2022.
Burchfield opened the evening by saying: “Ladies, it’s so good to see you and it’s so good to see the men who are here to support and encourage us. It’s a wonderful evening of support and celebration. I strongly believe that as women it is our job, it is our calling to support each other, to empower each other, to lift each other up and to appreciate the men who support us. administration when our children were very young. In fact, my daughter was always saying, ‘Mom, mom, are we going to the WYCA?’ And I said, ‘Honey, it’s the YWCA.’ She says, ‘No, Mom, women always come first.’ I programmed it well.
“When you look at these eight categories (of accomplishment), they embody the vision statements (of the YWCA). When you look at what they’ve done in terms of creating an opportunity to honor these women, it’s just another example of how we all benefit from Each of you who have been nominated, the winners, the scholarships, each of you has contributed to my community in ways that make it healthier, in a way that makes her safer, in a way that makes her happier. members of the community, the contribution of these people has touched all of us. We live in a very small community. Good things spread. And when they do the good they do, it affects our neighbors, it affects our families, it affects our friends, and it affects us.”
Nominations and winners were awarded for each category:
Professional development: A person who has achieved a certain vision for their organization, using resources, networking, developing goals, and motivating people to work together to achieve agency goals.
Nominees: Stacy Adam, Jamie Ramos, Vicki Smith and Quincy Thompson
Winner: Vicki Smith
Nomination Quote: “In the seven years she has led the organization, Vicki has coordinated efforts to raise nearly $3 million for the United Way. She works tirelessly to provide the most fundraising resources possible while keeping eyes on the future through its strategic planning efforts,” said Mary Jo Wilhelm.
Advocacy: An individual who walks alongside, leads disadvantaged people to bring them to their full potential.
Nominee and winner: Teresa Shaffer
Nomination Quote: “Teresa sees the inherent value, beauty, and dignity in every person, regardless of circumstance. Teresa helps people navigate through the various agencies that could provide services in conjunction with many community partners. What’s unique is how Teresa manages to do this without making that person feel bad about themselves Operation Back To School donated thousands of backpacks, school supplies and hygiene items to the kids in our community. The structure of the event with a carnival feel makes it fun and accomplishes all the goals that Teresa had,” said Julie Barrenga. Teresa also started the fifth quarter after the football game event and the Goede Construction Mentorship Program She has also been involved with Haven of Hope and sits on its board of directors.
Female Empowerment: A person who fights alongside other women by helping them be all that they can be.
Nominee and winner: Victoria Mooney
Nomination Quote: Vince Barnhart said, “With education, I believe, comes empowerment. (As her father, Victoria) would challenge me to educate myself. She is constantly a voice for those around her (Van Wert) to make a difference.. Victoria is a strong advocate for women’s rights and expresses her support for all.
Racial justice: A person in the justice system who works hard to make the system fair.
Nominee and winner: Eva Yarger
Appointment Quote: Kristin Bragg said, “Eva recognizes the need for more assistance for our (minority) victims and has implemented a Victims Advocate through her office. Implementing this program directly monitored by Eva assists all victims of criminal level crime in an equal and fair manner Eva has never given more importance to one victim than another based on any aspect of her ethnicity or heritage All victims are treated equally and all crimes committed in his office under his control are prosecuted fairly and equitably.
Volunteering: A person who gives their time, energy and resources to improve several causes in the community.
Nominee and winner: Rachel White
Nomination quote: “(Rachel) uses her talents and expertise to serve on the school board of Van Wert School, is the volunteer assistant track coach for Van Wert High School, and sits on the board of directors of the YWCA.Also, by Rachel volunteering at downtown events like Town Creek Live, and even helping out at polling places during elections, she also enjoys supporting Van Wert’s athletics and showing up for her students every time. that they need her,” Jenna Dailey said.
Nominees: Delta Clark, Rachel Hoverman and Nancy Sparks
Winner: Rachel Hoverman
Nomination Quote: Rachel White said, “Rachel not only comes up with incredibly creative ways to support student development, socially, emotionally, physically and cognitively, but she does so with authenticity. Every time Rachel shares these stories , her description is always student centered. She knows each child by first name, passions, struggles and accomplishments. Whenever I am with Rachel when she enters the school or any place Van Wert’s audience, there are young adults who, no doubt, will say ‘Hey, Miss Hoverman!’ They’ll wave at her and run up to her for a hug. The young people of Van Wert are really lucky to be exposed to someone like Rachel Hoverman.
Civic engagement: A person who is dedicated to making our community a better place.
Nominee and winner: Janice Kirchenbauer
Nomination Quote: Rachel Hoverman said, “Janice has been a member of the Evergreen Garden Club since 2005. She has held a variety of positions including President, Vice President, as well as Beautification Manager at Fountain Park, of the Historical Museum Herb Garden and the Annual Flower Show Committee Janice has also been a volunteer Master Gardener since 2002. She is dedicated to the Downtown Senses Garden and Smiley Park Kindergarten. always doing what she says she’s going to do. Janice is already improving beautiful places.”
Overcoming adversity: A person who overcomes persistent traumatic challenges to make them a strength.
Nominees and winners: Tabitha Kline and Kendall Schrader
Nominating Quote for Tabitha Kline: Tom Kline, her husband, said, “Tabitha found herself in a relationship with an abuser. After not seeing the typical signs, she found evidence that this man was a predator Immediately after finding this, Tabitha called the authorities, this man brutally attacked her, she nearly lost her life fighting to keep her hands on the evidence that put him in jail. She succeeded. Instead of hiding what happened and letting undeserved shame stop her, she fought for ten months. She spoke in front of the grand jury. She was on the news and on the radio. She sent the message that the laws needed to change and that there should be more jail time for people who commit CSAs. Tabitha showed so many people that they can overcome their battles no matter what. “they can be. She did it with such grace. She doesn’t just overcome and stop there.
Nomination Quote for Kendall Schrader: Krista Schrader, her mother, said, “Kendall suffered from a bleeding AVM when she was 15. She was just a sophomore in high school. She had had surgery to stop the bleeding She lost mobility in her entire right side, including some of her cognitive abilities Within a few days she was able to walk again But the rest took time She regained her most of her cognitive abilities and started to speed up again at school. A year later she went back for a checkup and we found an extra spot in the brain that they had missed that needed attention. attention. We were referred to Ann Arbor, Michigan. There we learned that she would need radiation therapy to try to (treat) the area. Brain surgery was too risky. She received the treatment with no side effects. Now we wait up next May to see if it worked. With all of this, she always remained positive and worked extremely hard for her goals. She even helps all of the kids in the MH room at her school. She is a senior at Delphos Jefferson High School and is preparing to graduate with honors. She is president of the National Honor Society and starting pitcher for our softball team. We are so proud of her and I just want to share with everyone what a little warrior we have here in our community!”
2022 Scholarship Finalists
These scholarships are presented to applicants who attend a Van Wert County high school, demonstrate good character, volunteer in the community, and fulfill the mission of the YWCA in their daily lives. Several applications have been submitted. The following ladies won scholarships.
First place: Kayla Krites, Van Wert High School
Second place: Brooklynn Laukhuf, Van Wert High School
Third place: Liesel Lare, Van Wert High School
2021 Scholarship Finalists
The 2021 finalists were unable to celebrate in person last year, so they were invited this year.
Jamie Burenga, Grace Doctor and Allison Schufelberger, all from Van Wert High School