Jisel Ortiz (class of 2023) applied, interviewed, and was selected to participate as a member of the 2021 Illinois Council of Women and Girls. There were over 300 applicants and nine young ladies were chosen. Jisel will be a member of the Academic & Economic Opportunity committee.  

    The Illinois Council is chaired by the Lt. Gov. Juliana Stratton and is composed of young women ages 14 through 18. Participants share their experiences and perspectives to make Illinois a place where all girls can thrive. The Council advises Governor JB Pritzker and the General Assembly on policy issues impacting women and girls in Illinois. Girls participating in the Council will have the opportunity to make a difference in issues affecting their lives and the lives of their peers. Committee participants serve one-year terms, attend one-hour quarterly meetings for the Girls Committee and one-hour quarterly meetings for one of the other Council committees (Gender-based Violence, Academic and Economic Opportunity, Leadership and Inclusion, or Health), for a total of eight meetings per year. Girls may choose to attend the one-hour quarterly meeting of the entire Council and/or to participate further in committee work with other members.

    A panel composed of current Council members evaluated applications based on diversity, interest, responsibility, communication, collaboration, and problem-solving and invited selected applicants to interview. All Girls Committee applicants have the opportunity to participate in focus groups to contribute their ideas on how Illinois can improve systems and policies to benefit women and girls.

    In addition, Irais Montoya is serving on the The Illinois 60 by 25 Network inaugural Student Advisory Council.  Wheeling High School is proud to have two students participating at the state level on impactful initiatives related to education.