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The Outstanding Young Persons of Illinois Awards program (TOYP) recognizes individuals between the ages of 18 and 40 who exemplify the best attributes of young people from across Illinois. These young people come from many backgrounds and each excels in their chosen field, endeavors and show a great commitment to their respective communities. 

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The Illinois Jaycees is proud to announce The Outstanding Young Persons of Illinois for 2024:

 

     Stephanie Aarons-Dennison, 30, Breese, IL for Contribution to children, world peace, and/or human rights. Aarons-Dennison is the Music Instructor and Band Director of Centralia High School. She also plays music in Centralia Philharmonic Orchestra, Centralia Community Band and the Barrelhouse Big Band.

 

     Erin Burneson, 33, Williamsville, IL for Humanitarian and/or voluntary leadership.  Burneson is founder of BHAYLI, a Women’s Livelihood Project in rural India, Studio Rachanā, a creative consulting company and co-founded Pranām Collaborative Learning Services.

 

     Jacob Dickey, 31, Urbana, IL for Personal improvement and/or accomplishment. Dickey is Meteorologist at WCIA in Champaign reporting weather and promoting local organizations, businesses and educational opportunities.

 

     Kirsten Evans, 32, Bloomington, IL for Business, economic, and/or entrepreneurial accomplishment. Evans is a successful and award-winning realtor who volunteers with many organizations in her community.

 

     Sam Guillory, 35, Normal, IL for Contribution to children, world peace, and/or human rights. Guillory is Vice President of Development and Public Relations for The Baby Fold and an active volunteer in local community organizations.

 

     Mallord Hubbard, 34, Highland IL for Political, legal, and/or governmental affairs. Hubbard is Director of Economic Development for the City of Highland and volunteer in local community organizations.

 

     Lara Sanoica, 32, Rolling Meadows, IL for Political, legal, and/or governmental affairs. Sanoica is the youngest and first woman Mayor of Rolling Meadows.

 

     Nabeela Syed, 24, Palatine, IL for Political, legal, and/or governmental affairs. Syed serves in the Illinois House of Representatives representing the 51st district.

 

     Gabi Vargas, 37, Palatine, IL for Humanitarian and/or voluntary leadership. Vargas is founder of Poiema Studio, a safe space in Elgin for community mental wellbeing and the National Hispanic Suicide Prevention Network, a non-profit organization to serve all in suicide prevention.

 

     Haley A. Wilson, 33, Springfield, IL for Cultural achievement. Wilson is co-founder of The Culture Experience LLC which creates access and representation for minority members and others wanting to gain new skills and experiences within spaces that lack diversity in the Springfield community.

 

The Illinois Jaycees will recognize this year’s honorees at an awards banquet on April 27, 2024 at the Embassy Suites in East Peoria, Illinois.

The event is generously supported by friends and employers of our award winners, local and regional Jaycee organizations, Illinois Jaycees Charitable Foundation, Illinois JCI Senate and Illinois businesses. If you would like more information on sponsorship opportunities, please visit our TOYP Sponsorship page or email us at toyp@iljaycees.org.

TOYP: Class of 2024

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