Two Joliet Junior College nursing students, Rachael Fox and Robert Yore, were the 2019 winners of the Citizenship Award.
Each year, JJC nursing faculty select two students for the award, which is given to those who demonstrate outstanding qualities in the categories of attitude, academics, character, community service and school spirit, according to a news release.
“I am earnestly grateful to my professors for seeing something in me that was worth recognizing,” Fox, a 45-year-old mother of three from Channahon, said in the release.
Fox lauded her professors at JJC, who she said make themselves readily available to help students and “bring so much energy into the classroom.”
She is in her first semester at JJC and hopes to earn a master’s degree and become a nursing professor.
Yore, a 29-year-old from Joliet, praised the JJC nursing program as being full of intelligent, hardworking students.
“So it really was surprising to be selected out of such a great group,” Yore said in the release. “I also must express gratitude for the support of my professors, family and God. I wouldn’t be here without it.”
Yore said the reputation of the instructors and the program in general were key in his decision to enroll at JJC. He said being able to go to school so close to his family made the choice easy.
While he’s only in his first semester at JJC, Yore said he hopes to continue his education to become a psychiatric mental health nurse practitioner. After gaining experience in the field, he hopes to work with Doctors Without Borders.
JJC’s nursing program began in 1971 with a class of 11 and now has more than 100 students graduate from both the practical nurse and registered nurse programs every year.
Students at JJC routinely pass their nurse licensure exams at rates well above the national average.
JJC had the second-most graduates in the state from an associate degree program.