Jillian Noack '18 was one of ten Waterbury area students who were honored at the Third Annual Youth Summit, sponsored by the Concerned Black Congregation. The event was held at Waterbury Career Academy. The summit is a day of service and workshops. It begins with award ceremony, honoring those who have exemplified the teachings of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.
Jillian was selected for this honor because she emulates human dignity, a core value held by Dr. King. She believes that all people deserve to be treated with equality and respect. "At Holy Cross, you meet a lot of different people from different backgrounds, towns and schools," said Jillian. "I embrace the fact that I have met people who I never would have met if I didn't come here. We are a family. We treat each other as equals no matter where we come from."
"Jillian is driven, organized and has some innate abilities that have certainly shone through in her tenure at Holy Cross," said Catherine Xeller, Director of Guidance. "She is kind, compassionate and willing to do whatever it takes to better the lives around her."
Jillian utilizes her excellent people skills as the captain of the cheerleading team and Treasurer of her class. She was selected as a Peer Minister, a member of the varsity tennis team and volunteered countless hours to the community through various organizations. These school wide organizations include Crusade for a Cure, a group of students raising awareness and funds for those individuals affected by cancer. Jillian is also a member of Helping Hands and frequently visits Apple Rehab Center in Watertown. There, she shares quality time with the adult patients. Through her involvement in National Honor Society, Jillian makes sandwiches for the needy on a weekly basis. She also participates in various service projects throughout the year.
"The school community has the pleasure of witnessing Jill's selfless and giving nature first hand during the summers of 2016 and 2017 when she attended mission trips through Catholic Heart Work Camp," said Ms. Xeller. "Jillian and 44 other students and faculty traveled to Virginia Beach and Philadelphia serving poverty stricken areas and their residents. The experience was eye opening however, Jill rose to the occasion and truly made an impact on those lives."
At a recent Leadership Conference, Jill was asked to go solo last minute to facilitate a session; she jumped right in with no hesitation and engaged ten separate groups of freshmen through team building activities and a debriefing discussion. She was articulate, confident, and commanded the attention of these young people like a professional.
"Providing service makes me feel like I am making a difference," said Jillian. "It is the best feeling to know that I am doing something to make someone's day a little better.""Jillian has certainly inspired change, acted as a champion for cultural diversity, inclusion and community partnership through her experiences thus far," said Ms. Xeller. "She will certainly continue way past graduation. She is an honorable citizen and excellent example to her peers and really, to the world."