Press Release for Thursday, October 8, 2009
Two UNF Women Basketball Players Receive Congressional Award
Joanna Norris, Assistant Director
of Media Relations and Events
Goode, Assistant Director
University of North
women’s basketball players, Jadhon and Jadhken Kerr,
received the Congressional Award Gold Medal from Congress for dedicating
hundreds of hours to voluntary public service, personal development, physical fitness
Congressional Award Gold Medal is the highest award bestowed by the United
States Congress to civilian youth under the age of 23. The Kerr sisters attended
an awards ceremony on June 25 in Washington,
“Both Jadhon and Jadhken are not only excellent
student-athletes but well-rounded young women who have incorporated voluntary
public service into both of their lives,” said UNF President John A. Delaney.
“They serve as an inspiration to the University community and we’re honored to
have them as part of the student body and UNF Athletics.”
Kerr sisters began their work toward the Gold Medal while in junior high school.
Jadhon, a UNF junior, and Jadhken, a freshman, logged their hours under the
supervision of an advisor, who ensured their hours were being completed. The
two wrote essays chronicling their experiences. The hours, along with the
essays, were sent along to Congress for approval.
are extremely proud of the accomplishments of these two young women and are honored
to have them represent the University
of North Florida and our
women’s basketball program,” said UNF Director of Athletics Lee Moon. “These
are the type of student-athletes that make North Florida
pair traveled to Mexico,
where they constructed homes for needy families, during their high school
spring breaks in 2006 and 2007.
under the stars and showering in a river were part of Jadhken’s experiences in Mexico.
Her personal development goal was to get a job in the health science field.
Through a career academy, she did an internship with a pharmacy, which led to
being employed for three years, from her junior year of high school through her
freshman year of college. Jadhken later became a certified pharmacy technician
and completed an internship with PPS World Medical this past summer.
volunteer service, she taught girls basketball skills through high school. As
part of a French club, she went to Quebec,
her sophomore year of high school, assisting students in learning English.
Increasing her power and strength through basketball was part of her physical
Working on the Gold Medal
prepared me beyond the classroom by working in diverse cultures and gave me
hands-on leadership opportunities,” said Jadhken. “Perhaps
the greatest benefit for me from the Congressional Award program was
volunteering. Incorporating service into my life was very satisfying and
has inspired me to continue.”
traveled to Kiev, Ukraine, prior to entering her
freshman year of college, where she coached, taught and chaperoned children
ages 6 to 16 from the city. She became a volunteer with At Heart to Heart
International as a freshman in high school and continues to volunteer there
today. With this organization, Jadhon sorted donations for humanitarian
projects and gave tours of a mobile medical clinic.
personal goal was to learnmore
about God and her religious faith through Bible quizzing, attending church
services and religious studies. By joining a local health club with specialized
equipment and attending basketball training camps, she was able to become more
physically fit. During Jadhon’s trip to Mexico, she mixed concrete by hand,
made walls and roofs, with no electricity and all while working in 100-degree
my Congressional Award goals gave me the chance to cope with various
surroundings,” said Jadhon. “It allowed me to respond in pressure situations
and share connections through friendship.”
is a transfer student from Wichita
State. She will sit out
this season due to NCAA transfer rules. Jadhken is a redshirt freshman after
sitting out last season.
is a real testament to Jadhon’s and Jadhken’s characters. They exemplify the
type of student-athlete that we strive to bring into our program,” said UNF
Head Women’s Basketball Coach Mary Tappmeyer.
an emphasis on benefiting the community-at-large, Congressional Award
guidelines require that all Gold Medalists dedicate 400 hours to voluntary
service. Medalists attending this event had the foresight and initiative to
seek opportunities for service, finding a variety of unmet needs in their
communities, ranging from environmental sustainability to mentoring youth to
providing hands-on service in Third World
Congressional Award program emphasizes the need for America’s youth to grow into
well-rounded, active adults. The Gold Medalists also dedicated hours each to
personal development and physical fitness, focusing their energies on improving
skills they already had or expanding their knowledge. Completing the
requirements for the Gold Medal, all medalists completed an expedition/exploration,
traveling around the world or learning from different cultures within their
The UNF women’s basketball team begins the 2009-10
season on October 31 with a home exhibition game against Brewton-Parker at the UNF
Arena. The Ospreys will open the regular season on the road at Florida State on November 13. North
Florida will play its home opener November 24 against
Bethune-Cookman. The full schedule can be found at www.UNFOspreys.com.