Rockford Fire Chief Michele Pankow was awarded the Community Leadership award from the YWCA of Northwestern Illinois at the annual Women of Achievement Awards. She’s shown on Wednesday, Sept. 8, 2021, during her swearing in ceremony at Veterans Memorial Hall in Rockford. (Photo by Kevin Haas/Rock River Current)
    From news release
    Rock River Current
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    ROCKFORD — YWCA Northwestern Illinois presented Women of Achievement Awards in five categories and named three scholarship recipients on Monday at is Leader Luncheon.

    The luncheon, now in its 42nd year, was held virtually.

    The YWCA Women of Achievement Awards recognize those who strive to make a positive impact in the community and whose work aligns with the YWCA mission to eliminate racism and empower women.

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    Nominations were reviewed by a committee comprised of local residents. The 2022 Women of Achievement Award recipients are:

    • Business: Rhashonda Williams, superintendent of human resources for the Rockford Park District
    • Community Leadership: Michele Pankow, chief of the Rockford Fire Department
    • Mentorship: Ginnie Weckerly, human resource director for Goodwill Industries of Northern Illinois
    • Professions: Shannon Krueger, director of the University of Illinois College of Medicine MERIT Program
    • Racial Justice: Belvidere School District 100

    The YWCA  also presented college scholarships to three high school seniors, including two who are of Hispanic descent. The Bright Future and the La Voz Latina Scholarships were sponsored by Collins
    Aerospace. The La Voz Latina Scholarship is funded by an anonymous donor through an endowment through Community Foundation of Northern Illinois.

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    The 2022 Scholarship recipients are:

    Bright Future Scholarship: Olivia Repka, Hononegah High School
    La Voz Latina Scholarships: Cristal Sanchez, Boylan Catholic High School and Sandy Ruiz, Boylan
    Catholic High School