2022 Mary Vandewiele Leadership Award Recipient Announced


ANN ARBOR, MI, April 18, 2021 – The Joyce Ivy Foundation recently announced the names of seventy-eight young women selected as 2022 Summer Scholars. From this group of Scholars, Jenny Liao, a junior studying at Washtenaw International High School, has been selected to receive the 2022 Mary Vandewiele Leadership Award.

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, academic promise, 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.

“For ten years, Mary has supported our Summer Scholars Program with her generosity and mentorship,” said Brittany Knight, Executive Director. “Her involvement marks a hallmark aspect of the Joyce Ivy Foundation – successful women reaching back to help the next generation of female leaders. We know Jenny and all the Joyce Ivy Scholars will benefit from being part of this distinctive community.” 

Jenny Liao of Canton, Michigan is a junior studying at Washtenaw International High School. She is enrolled in the rigorous International Baccalaureate Diploma Program, tripling up on science courses and maintaining a perfect 4.0 GPA. Jenny holds a variety of leadership positions at school, chief among them serving as Co-President of the Peer to Peer Depression Awareness Club, which raises awareness for mental illnesses and focuses on fighting stigma and promoting help-seeking behavior. She also fundraises for cancer research, serves on Student Government, and is a member of the National Honor Society, LEO Club and Healthcare Occupations Student Association. Jenny has her sights on a pre med career track and hopes to attend Brown this summer to further explore her academic interests.  

“A critical and key attribute to leadership is resiliency, which is often one part talent and two parts ability to work through adversity,” said Mary Vandewiele. “Jenny Liao has used this recipe to  demonstrate her strong capabilities of achieving success for herself and helping others. I am honored to name her as the recipient of the 2022 Mary Vandewiele Leadership Award”. 

“I’m very grateful and excited to be a part of such a friendly community that genuinely wants to help me achieve my aspirations,” said Jenny Liao, recipient of the 2022 Mary Vandewiele Leadership Award. “The fact that Joyce Ivy recognizes and celebrates the achievements of girls like myself by providing them with financial and moral support networks is incredibly inspiring. Since being named a Mary Vandewiele Leadership Award recipient and Joyce Ivy Summer Scholar, I’ve become even more motivated to pursue my passions through leadership. I look forward to learning valuable lessons through this program and helping others learn more about this remarkable opportunity”. 

About The Joyce Ivy Foundation

The Joyce Ivy Foundation seeks to provide exposure, encouragement, and financial assistance to young women who have the academic, intellectual, and leadership potential to attend the nation’s most selective institutions of higher education. Funding for the Joyce Ivy Foundation is provided by individuals, other foundations, and corporations. Since its founding in 2006, the Foundation has named 1050 students from Michigan, Minnesota, Missouri, Nebraska, North Dakota, Ohio, and South Dakota as Joyce Ivy Scholars, providing scholarships for them to attend summer educational programs at partner college summer programs, and providing or leveraging $5.5 million in scholarship funding. For more information, please visit www.joyceivyfoundation.org or contact the Joyce Ivy Foundation at info@joyceivyfoundation.org or (734) 661-0229.