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YWCA Honors Gabrielle Torina

Gabrielle Torina is a true testament that it is never too late to chase your dreams! After working many years in an unfulfilling job that lacked promotion; she knew that in order to advance her career and take her life to the next level, earning a college education would be the catalyst. In 2013 Gabrielle enrolled at Judson University to earn her bachelor’s degree in Communications Management, and hasn’t looked back since!

Torina prides herself on being a straight A honor’s student and role model for other adult learners. Highly involved in the community, in 2014 she became the Secretary for the Wabongo Leadership Council, a 501c3 non-profit organization that focuses on providing strategic resources and building leadership capacity in the African American community. In August of 2015, her and her work with Wabongo was recognized with the “Young Leaders on the Rise” Award at the Soul News Network 25 Black Leaders To Watch ceremony. In May of 2015, she accepted a highly competitive internship with global Fortune 100 company United Technologies Aerospace Systems, where she works as a Contract Administrator for the NASA space shuttle Orion. She volunteers and authors a food and entertainment blog for the Rockford Area Convention and Visitors Bureau attracting tourism to her native city of Rockford, IL, and recently became the 2016 recipient of the YWCA Women in Achievement Scholarship. She attributes her success to family and friends that always encouraged her to actualize her potential, have a heavy involvement in the betterment of the community, and maintain a strong belief that God has given us all a significant purpose. In just a short amount of time she has been able to achieve much, but aims to do so much more! Torina looks forward to graduation in December of 2017, striving to achieve her goals, and helping others to achieve theirs along the way.


The Rockford YWCA holds the Leader Luncheon each year, with the goal being to honor women in the community with awards and scholarships. Those women are selected based on their dedication to uphold values of the YWCA, which include eliminating racism, empowering women, and promoting peace, justice, and dignity for all.  This was their 36th annual luncheon and the keynote was Lilly Ledbetter, who is also the woman in which President Barack Obama’s first bill was signed/named after. The YMCA offers three scholarships to one high school student, one La Voz Latina student, and one “women in achievement scholarship” goes to an adult student. The selection criteria is based off of community involvement, education and career goals, work experience, strengths, and special skills. An essay along with an extensive packet of recommendation letters and questions is submitted and you find out at the luncheon if you win! The award gets a lot of press, and the competition is stiff. There are some phenomenal women in the community who are working on advanced degrees so it was a honor to be chosen amongst greats.


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