Illinois Women in Leadership is an organization close to my heart, not just because of the members – their valued professional guidance – but also the activities we organize and participate in together.

There are a number of projects, on which several committees work each year, including, the annual symposium in September, the Athena awards in July and the scholarship program.

As public relations chair for the organization I have chosen to sit on both the symposium and Athena committees to ensure that I remain up to speed with activity, especially when it comes to promoting events and gaining our generous sponsors the recognition they deserve through the media.

Like I’ve said before, at Gem PR & Media we use our strengths to help create opportunities in the areas for which we are known best. So, with the IWIL Holiday Social just days away, I thought I’d tell you a little bit about the scholarship scheme, which is funded by the event and what it means to the recipients.

Each year three female, high school seniors living in Sangamon County are awarded a $1,000 scholarship. In addition, one female adult in Sangamon County, who has been out of high school for five years or more and is enrolling in a college, university or trade school, or is continuing or returning to college and does not yet have an undergraduate degree, is presented with the chrysalis scholarship for $1,000. Since 2008 IWIL has awarded 24 high school scholarships and nine chrysalis scholarships.

The applications open in January 2016, are available at, the deadline is March 1 and winners will be presented with their scholarships in May.

But first, we must raise funds to support the program through the sale of raffle tickets for the Holiday Social, which can be purchased at You do not have to be present at the event to win.

So, please, help us in our efforts to support one of the communities in which we operate.

Further information about IWIL is available on the website; there’s also a Facebook page, Twitter account and LinkedIn group