New York, May 23, 2017 – Recognizing the importance of drawing young women into community leadership positions, The Association of Junior Leagues International has presented Hilary Jackson of the Junior League of Collin County (TX) and Jessica Sharp of the Junior League of Greenville (SC) with its 2017 Rising Star Awards. The awards, The Junior League’s highest for individual members, were made at AJLI’s 95th Annual Conference in Minneapolis-St. Paul on Atlanta on May 20.
AJLI President Carol Scott said, “What I have always found exciting about The Junior League model is its ability to help thousands of young women tap their potential as change agents in their communities. By their actions and passionate commitment, Hilary Jackson and Jessica Sharp demonstrate the enduring power of voluntarism and the attraction of The Junior League as a vehicle to create lasting civic impact.”
Hilary Jackson already had a successful banking career before joining the Junior League of Collin County but was looking for ways she could personally address the challenges facing her community. In her first year as a League member, Ms. Jackson became intimately involved in JLCC's second largest fundraiser, Trinkets to Treasures, and joined JLCC’s committee for HopeWorks, a vocational readiness program to empower survivors of domestic violence in securing independent, violence-free lifestyles.
In addition to her roles at JLCC, Ms. Jackson is a leader in community organizations like Hope’s Door, Habitat for Humanity and Communities in Schools in the Dallas Region as well as the MathCorps Summer Camp run by her employer, Capital One. At Capital One she has also mentored women on career growth, professional development, and corporate leadership while joining with other leaders to help prepare women in the business school of the University of Texas to plan for their post-graduation careers.
Jessica Sharp’s early years in the Junior League of Greenville provided her with opportunities to mentor other young members while serving in key fundraising roles. But her community leadership skills were already in evidence before she joined the League in 2014. She has served on the Junior Board of the YWCA of Greenville and was a founder of LeadHER Greenville, a successful community organization dedicated to empowering young women through leadership development, outreach to the Greenville community and networking opportunities.
A past board member of the Urban League of the Upstate’s young professional organization, where she worked to create programs that develop and empower young professionals of color, Ms. Sharp has served on the board of the Better Business Bureau of the Upstate and was a participant in the Greenville Chamber of Commerce’s leadership development program for young professionals.
In her professional life, Ms. Sharp is the Interim Diversity Manager at Greenville Health System, the largest health system in South Carolina. She was named a Talented Tenth Top 10 Young Professional in 2014 by the Upstate Network. In 2015, she was named a Best and Brightest Under 35 by the Greenville Business Magazine.
About The Junior League
Founded in 1901 by New Yorker and social activism pioneer, Mary Harriman, The Junior League is an organization of transformational female leaders who set bold goals, open their circles, disrupt convention and change the conversation for the betterment of civil society. Today, there are Leagues across the United States, Canada, Mexico and the United Kingdom.
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Tracy Van Buskirk
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