Name: Helen Kapitonenko
School: Sophomore at
Accomplishment: Kapitonenko shows others through her dedication and responsibility that self-determination can take you to great heights. Last year she was named Youth Link’s Most Inspirational Female Youth Leader.
Keys to Awesomeness: Laura Francis, Youth Services Director at , says Kapitonenko is the “poster child for success at Jubilee Reach.” Despite the many responsibilities she has at home as the oldest of four children and the children of first-generation Ukrainian immigrants, Kapitonenko, for whom English is her second language, maintains a 3.8 grade point average in school, and dedicates her time and talents as president of the center’s Art Club. She meets with a tutor at Jubilee Reach several times a week and uses an online tutor when her volunteer tutor is not available, Francis says.
“She advocates for herself like no one I’ve ever seen,” Francis says.
Kapitonenko says she’s working very hard in school now, because she wants very much to go to college.
“I have to work hard to get scholarships,” she says.
Julie Judy, the center’s Art Studio Coordinator, says that Kapitonenko inspires other youths at the center, and the adults as well.
“Being able to serve Helen has inspired me to be a better observer and listener. She demonstrates so much of what we hope to inspire here,” Judy says.
—Nominated by Tom Brewer
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