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Jane McNeill ’24 Recognized as American Heart Association 2022 Teen of Impact

 

Jane McNeill at the awards ceremony, wearing a red sash: "2022 Teen of Impact Winner"

Jane McNeill ’24 at the Go Red for Women Luncheon where she was recognized as a 2022 Teen of Impact

Earlier this month, Ravenscroft’s own Jane McNeill ’24 was recognized as a 2022 Teen of Impact at the American Heart Association’s Go Red for Women Luncheon for her outstanding work in the initiative, whose mission is to drive awareness and raise funds for women’s heart health in local communities.

According to the AHA’s website, Teen of Impact campaign participants “bring together champions from within their networks to form an impact team, set a goal, explore fundraising opportunities and have a direct impact on women’s health and the Go Red for Women mission. Together, they are a relentless force, using their voices to advocate for women’s heart health and raise awareness that cardiovascular disease is the No. 1 killer of women.”

Below, Jane reflects on her decision to join this campaign and shares her reaction to learning that her team — with over $18,000 raised from 75 donations — had been recognized for making the biggest impact among teams in the Triangle region. Congratulations to Jane and her teammates: her mother, former Ravenscroft board chair Caryn McNeill, classmate James Maynard Parker ’24 and former Ravenscroft Director of Development Mary Moss.

Early last fall, [Head of School] Mrs. Kelly sent out an email to the entire Upper School about the American Heart Association’s Teen of Impact campaign. I was interested in the leadership training aspect of this program, as well as the competition. I sent in an application to be selected as a “nominee” to compete against other Triangle-area teens. I then had an interview with Laura Marek, Director of Development at the American Heart Association. After I was selected to compete, which meant I would be launching my own fundraising campaign, Ms. Marek worked with me to help set individual and team goals. I set ambitious goals for myself and my team and believe this was a key to my success. I supported my teammates as they worked to meet their individual goals and earn points for our team by educating others about the risks of heart disease. 

I was helped along the way by a number of mentors. I met with Mrs. Kelly and Ravenscroft parent Sophia Montero, both of whom are American Heart Association volunteers. I also met Margot Ridgeway, an NC State soccer player who had a stroke when she was just 20 years old.  All of them had good advice for me, and Margot’s experience emphasized for me how important the work of the AHA is.  

After eight full weeks of fundraising, I was on a Zoom call with other Teen of Impact and Woman of Impact nominees and American Heart Association staff members when I learned that we had won. The other nominees had done a lot of work, too, so I had not really considered the possibility that my team might win. To add to the excitement, at the same time they announced my name on the call, our doorbell rang. Staff from the American Heart Association and a volunteer — the mother of a child with a congenital heart issue — brought me a bouquet of flowers, along with a red sash reading “2022 Teen of Impact Winner.” 

I learned a lot from this experience, including how hard it is to ask for money! I appreciate so much Mrs. Kelly’s suggestion, all the hard work my teammates put in and the generous contributions made by so many family and friends.