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Torey JovickTorey Jovick

Jovick Wins National Honor Merit Award

Willamette sophomore Torey Jovick has been selected by the National Society of Collegiate Scholars (NSCS) to receive the annual Merit Award. The $1,000 scholarship is awarded to 50 new NSCS chapter members from across the nation.

The national Merit Award is presented to a new member who embodies the three values of the NSCS: scholarship, leadership and service. In her application for the award, Jovick said she had to demonstrate how she embodies those values in her everyday life.

"I try to be a role model to others and lead by example," says Jovick. Last year, she participated in Take a Break, the University's alternative spring break program. Jovick and other students traveled to Jonestown, Miss., one of the poorest communities in the nation, to repair and paint private homes.

She describes the trip to the predominantly African American community as "awesome. It definitely took me out of my comfort zone, but it also enabled me to expand my perspective by traveling to other places and seeing how other people live."

This year, she's mentoring Brenda, an Hispanic 5th grader who recently arrived from Mexico. "Brenda's learning English and I'm learning Spanish, so we try to help one another," she says, smiling broadly.

Jovick and two friends are planning to expand their mentoring efforts next semester by designing and teaching a class for elementary children on good nutrition. "Our goal is to give kids some simple, cheap and healthful meals they can make on their own, especially when their parents may not be around," she says. "The NSCS chapter can buy the food for us, which will enable us to do more with the kids. We're planning to teach cooking and nutrition and try to dispel some of the myths about so-called healthy foods."

While the NSCS Merit Scholarship will help pay for Jovick's tuition, she says the real value comes in "the recognition that there are other things besides sitting and studying that are important. Students should be out there doing community service, being involved and helping others out. The Society and Willamette values those goals and so do I."