Young Women of Distinction Award Recipients Announced

The Women’s Council, a Greater Rochester Chamber of Commerce affiliate, announced the recipients of its 18th annual Young Women of Distinction Awards.  The scholarship program supports the Women’s Council’s belief that young women with promise today will become tomorrow’s leaders.

The 2017 Young Women of Distinction honorees are:

  • Claire Vega Calkins, Pittsford Sutherland High School
  • Amy Faville, Avon High School
  • Cassandra Jones, Gates-Chili High School
  • Olivia Spenard, School of the Arts

The four top recipients, one each from the Rochester City School District, Monroe County east, Monroe County west, and the eight regional counties surrounding Monroe, receive a $2,000 scholarship and an opportunity for a paid internship at an area company. 

Other finalists this year included:

  • Olivia Brumfield, Caledonia-Mumford
  • Dursitu Duresso, Wilson Magnet
  • Brooke Fisher, Churchville-Chili
  • Erykah Yasmine Kangbeya, Allendale Columbia
  • Meghan Keyes, Mercy
  • Paige Koss, Hilton
  • Natalie Ann Neamtu, Webster Thomas
  • Elizabeth Piedmont, Batavia
  • Alexandria Reppi, North Rose-Wolcott
  • Eliza Sherman, Pittsford Mendon
  • Gabrielle Silverstein, Honeoye Falls-Lima
  • Erika Tillotson, Victor
  • Stephanie Train, Greece Athena
  • McKenna Uzelac, Penfield
  • Emily Welch, Wayne Central
  • Megan Yawman, Fairport

Modeled after the ATHENA Award, the Young Women of Distinction program is designed to discover high school seniors who have displayed outstanding leadership, academic excellence, and involvement in the nine-county Rochester and Finger Lakes region.

 Women’s Council President Wende Knapp, Esq., said, “This year’s class of finalists, as in years past, represent an elite group of young women, and the successes of our four recipients highlight what outstanding young leadership looks like.  All of these young women provide incredible hope for the future of our community, both locally and globally, and the Women’s Council is honored to further its mission by recognizing and empowering these future leaders as they begin their professional journey.”

This year’s keynote speakers were 2017 ATHENA Award recipient, Nannette Nocon, and 2017 ATHENA Young Professional Award recipient, Melisza Campos.  The awards were hosted by #TeamPXY’s Carter and Corey, the event’s 2017 media sponsor.

For more information on the Women’s Council and the Young Women of Distinction program, visit

Photo L to R: 

Olivia Spenard, Claire Vega Calkins, Amy Faville, Cassandra Jones