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Jeanelle Achee

Nursing major, Harry S. Truman scholar, Miss Vermont 2013

Jeanelle Achee

Nursing major Jeanelle Achee, a UVM junior, is one of 62 students this year to be named a 2013 Harry S. Truman Scholar. The highly competitive national award recognizes those who want to make a difference in public service and "provide them with financial support for graduate study, leadership training, and fellowship with other students who are committed to making a difference through public service."

As a survivor of sexual violence, Achee has worked with communities throughout Vermont to advocate for women’s empowerment in areas of our society where it is needed most. She created a leadership weekend for the Girl Scouts Beyond Bars; an empowerment event for young girls who have a parent in prison. Her work with the organization introduced children to positive role models, strategies for living a healthy lifestyle, and how to foster self-efficacy.

Did you know ? ...

  • Achee competed in the Miss America pageant
  • Achee is the fourth UVM student to win the Truman award.
  • Four UVM students were nominated for this year's award.

The Truman Foundation, a federal agency that seeks to identify and support college juniors who are on track to be future public servants and change agents, issues the Truman Scholarship. Each year, universities across the country submit up to four nominees through a rigorous application review and interview process (in total, 629 students were nominated in 2013). 

Achee, a certified crisis counselor, has dedicated thousands of hours to counseling victims at Hope Works, Chittenden County’s largest non-profit organization dedicated to supporting people who have experienced the trauma of sexual violence. She has also been an active volunteer in statewide political campaigns. She co-founded the Vermont Student Summit for Building Peace in Iraq, a foundation for a statewide student-led peace group. A global studies minor, she is also a member of Mortar Board, is a former member of the Dewey House for Civic Engagement, and also winner of the Miss Vermont 2013 pageant.

"As a student here, Jeanelle has made a huge impact not just on her fellow students' lives -- counseling individuals through crises, advising on writing papers, organizing service activities, for instance -- but also faculty," says Luis Vivanco, director of the Global and Regional Studies Program. "Her combination of humility, dedication and insightfulness about people is amazing. While the Truman is an excellent reflection on her qualities and commitment, she's an excellent reflection on the Truman program."