The Outstanding Young Persons of Illinois Awards program recognizes individuals between the ages of 18 and 40 who exemplify the best attributes of young people from across Illinois. Recipients come from many backgrounds but each has made an impact on their fellow man and communities. 

The Illinois Jaycees is proud to announce The Outstanding Young Persons of Illinois for 2019:

  • Brian Frieze,32, Springfield, IL for Business, economic, and/or entrepreneurial accomplishment. Frieze is founder and president of Sangamon Reclaimed which handcrafts quality furniture from reclaimed wood.
  • Sara T. Ghadiri, 29, Chicago, IL for Political, legal, and/or governmental affairs. Ghadiri is an attorney at Chapman and Cutler, LLP who handles pro bono cases, and led a change to IL Law that allowed survivors of domestic violence to seek safety related waivers to the publication and public record requirements for legal name changes.
  • Lucinda J. Hurt, 38, Aroma Park, IL for Humanitarian and/or voluntary leadership. She volunteers as director of Wesley United Methodist Church’s food pantry.  She works as a Community Planner for Northeastern Illinois Area Agency on Aging.
  • Nicole Lanahan, 39, Collinsville, IL for Humanitarian and/or voluntary leadership. Lanahan is Executive Director of Got Your Six Support Dogs which provides specialized service dogs to veterans and first-responders suffering from post-traumatic stress disorder and/or sexual trauma.
  • Nicole Musumeci, 37, Champaign, IL, for Contribution to children, world peace, and/or human rights. Musumeci is executive director of Prosperity Gardens which is dedicated to cultivating healthy communities by providing education, employment and collaboration opportunities through neighborhood farming.
  • Salvo Rodriquez, 36, Champaign, IL for Humanitarian and/or voluntary leadership. Rodriquez is Director of New Business at United Way of Champaign County. He is a member of Champaign West Rotary and other organizations.
  • Janet Scheller, 34, Hamel, IL for Humanitarian and/or voluntary leadership. Scheller is Founder and Executive Director of Allison’s Angel Gowns Inc. which donates bereavement gowns to grieving parents made from wedding dresses.
  • Stacey Skrysak, 38, Springfield, IL for Humanitarian and/or voluntary leadership. Skrysak is a Television News Anchor at WICS and co-founder of Triple Heart Foundation which provides books to parents with children in neonatal intensive care units.
  • Ashley Swip, 39, Collinsville, IL for Humanitarian and/or voluntary leadership. Swip is a teacher and Founder of 3 Little Birds 4 Life which provides hope and happiness by granting wishes to adult cancer patients.

The Outstanding Young People (TOYP) program annually recognizes young people throughout Illinois who excel in their chosen fields, endeavors and show a great commitment to their respective communities. “The Illinois Jaycees is proud to honor young people who dedicate themselves and energize their communities in many different ways,” said Jared Koester, 88th President of the Illinois Jaycees.

The Illinois Jaycees will honor these young people on May 4, 2019 at the Wyndham Springfield – City Centre. The program will include a video highlighting the honoree’s accomplishment, plaque presentation and opportunity for each honoree to address the audience.

The event is generously supported by friends and employers of our award winners, local and regional Jaycee organizations, Illinois Jaycees Charitable Foundation and Illinois businesses and corporations. Please consider purchasing an ad for the TOYP Banquet program booklet. See information below.  For information on sponsorship opportunities, please email

TOYP Sponsorship Opportunities

TOYP Banquet Ticket