Miller, Dawson, Sigal, and Ward developed the Thumbs Up Guys scholarship to reward and highlight the actions of selfless students serving their community. We’re happy to announce that one of our three winners, Jenna Monroe, perfectly fits the bill.
Monroe spearheaded and served in a makeshift soup kitchen following the devastation of a hurricane in her native Myrtle Beach, SC. Though her family’s home was largely unaffected by the storm, many people lost their houses, businesses, and livelihoods, at least for a short period of time.
National Guard members were called into town to help the community recover. However, Jenna Monroe and her family realized that many of those soldiers, who sacrificed their own time and safety to assist, often ended the day just as exhausted and hungry as many of those they were helping.
Not content to sit back and watch others take the lead, Monroe started providing small, hot meals to the soldiers and others temporarily unhoused by the storm. Soon, the community responded in kind.
“Food poured in as fast as we could distribute it,” wrote Monroe. “Families came with cans of food, cooked dishes, and take-out from their favorite restaurants.” Even businesses, many of which suffered massive income losses due to the hurricane, began to donate food.
This isn’t the first time that Jenna Monroe has thought of others instead of herself. She volunteers in a variety of capacities each year, perhaps none more inspiring than the local Joy Prom.
Thrown for special needs students who are unable to attend their high school’s official prom due to sensitivity issues or fears of overstimulation, Joy Prom allows Monroe another opportunity to live out her philosophy of giving back.
In her own words, Monroe places a huge emphasis on serving others. “I learned how to show someone how much they matter,” she wrote in her winning essay. “I learned that helping others is beyond rewarding.”
What’s Next for Jenna Monroe?
In the fall, Ms. Monroe will attend Coastal Carolina University. She plans to study Sustainability, with a minor in Environmental Studies. Following completion of her Bachelor’s degree, her goals include continuing to volunteer and entering law school.
We have no doubt that Jenna Monroe will continue to help others and embody the Thumbs Up Guys’ spirit of community service. We wish her all the best as she seeks to become a member of the South Carolina legal community.
You can read Jenna Monroe’s winning essay here.