March 7, 2022


Local Leaders Receive 2022 YWCA Women of Achievement Awards

Award and scholarship recipients represent the vision and mission of YWCA

Rockford, IL  (March 7, 2022)  YWCA Northwestern Illinois presented Women of Achievement Awards in five categories and named three scholarship recipients at the 42nd annual “virtual” Leader Luncheon today.

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: eliminating racism and empowering women. Nominations are solicited by the YWCA Northwestern Illinois and the Leader Luncheon event committee, and are reviewed by a committee comprised of local community members.


The 2022 Women of Achievement Award recipients are:


  • Business: Rhashonda Williams, Superintendent of HR, Rockford Park District
  • Community Leadership: Michele Pankow, Chief, Rockford Fire Department
  • Mentorship: Ginnie Weckerly, Human Resource Director, Goodwill Industries of Northern Illinois
  • Professions: Shannon Krueger, MSN, APRN, CPNP-PC, SANE-P, Director—University of Illinois College of Medicine MERIT Program
  • Racial Justice: Belvidere School District 100


YWCA Northwestern Illinois also presented college scholarships to a female high school senior and two high school seniors 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.


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


YWCA Northwestern Illinois has provided women’s empowerment programming and advocacies since 1891. The organization now serves more than 12,000 women, children, and families each month, through child care subsidy, quality child care access and  improvement resources, YWCA La Voz Latina’s Hispanic and Latino community support and resources, and community racial justice work that promotes a clear commitment to equality. YWCA Northwestern Illinois delivers its mission, “eliminating racism, empowering women, and promoting peace, justice, freedom and dignity for all,” to women and families in Boone, Jo Daviess, McHenry, Ogle, Winnebago and Stephenson counties in Illinois.



Jennifer Bowman
YWCA Northwestern Illinois

[email protected]