Mary Vandewiele, a Metro Detroit entrepreneur and advocate for women and their leadership development, established the Mary Vandewiele Leadership Award in 2013, and it is awarded annually to a Joyce Ivy Foundation Summer Scholar who demonstrates leadership and exceptional commitment to their school and home communities. Joyce Ivy Foundation Summer Scholars engage in both academic and leadership development during their summer program experiences at highly selective colleges and universities.
"Our Scholars are lucky to have an advocate, mentor, and supporter in Mary Vandewiele,” said Brittany Carlson, Executive Director of the Joyce Ivy Foundation. “As a female entrepreneur, Mary provides invaluable life experience for our Scholars to draw from as they embark on their own paths of leadership and success. We are grateful for the support of Mary, which allows the Joyce Ivy Foundation to be able to create educational opportunity for talented young women from the Midwest. We are delighted to honor Alejandra Gonzalez as the sixth recipient of the Mary Vandewiele Leadership Award.”
Alejandra Gonzalez, of Pontiac, Michigan, is completing the rigorous International Baccalaureate Diploma at Notre Dame Preparatory. At school, Alejandra is President of the Polyglot Club, which she founded to celebrate the importance of language and empower and unite people through language. She is a Peer Leader Coordinator for freshmen, is active in the Robotics Club, and is even training for a black belt in karate. Alejandra plans to participate in the seven-week Cornell Summer College Program in Ithaca, New York this summer.
“Our society is changing and so is the future leadership roles of women - strong and talented women need support and opportunities,” said Mary Vandewiele. “I am honored to play a small part in supporting these aspiring young scholars on their paths to college and beyond. Alejandra's resolve and resiliency along with her academic fortitude demonstrate her capabilities in leading others. She is incredibly deserving of the scholarship and its recognition.”
"I am gratefully elated to become a part of the Joyce Ivy Summer Scholars community, and humbled by the honor of the Mary Vandewiele Award,” said Alejandra Gonzalez. “I am thankful to the Joyce Ivy Foundation for inspiring and bringing together young women like myself, but also for giving us the opportunity to inspire each other. Attending Cornell’s Summer College will be a transformative experience to help me become a more mindful global citizen with a deeper understanding of myself, people close and far from me, and the natural world. I am equally, if not more excited to take what I learn from this summer back home to Polyglot Club, the Baldwin Center, my school, and to next year’s Summer Scholars."
The 2018 Joyce Ivy Foundation Summer Scholars have the opportunity to study at eleven partner colleges and universities: Barnard College, Brown University, Cornell University, Emory University, Harvard University, Johns Hopkins University, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Smith College, Stanford University, Washington University in St. Louis, and Yale University.