PARISHVILLE - Monique M. Jenkinson was six years old when she attended her first high school graduation, deciding at that time that she would one day like to be her schools valedictorian.
My mom took me to a graduation, and I saw the valedictorian and decided I wanted to be that person, Ms. Jenkinson said. I saw her getting all these scholarships, and I knew it would be hard to pay for college, so I figured it would help it I was at the top of the class.
Ms. Jenkinson made it to the top of her class and now 12 years later she will be the one delivering a speech and receiving scholarships.
And while shes had the goal since she was a young girl, that doesnt mean the honor came easy.
Im very competitive and wanted to be number one, she said. Ive worked really hard for it though, nothing has been given to me.
Next year, Ms. Jenkinson will take her competitive spirit and work ethic to Siena College, where she is currently planning to major in Psychology and minor in Peace Studies.
Im really into community service, and I see myself helping people no matter what career I decide to do, she said. I might be a psychologist. I might not. Well see if I like that.
Ms. Jenkinsons passion for community service is evidenced by the more than 600 hours she logged while in high school at Parishville-Hopkinton, volunteering at events like the schools variety show, winter ball and Pride Days.
Ive helped clean up, organize or set up pretty much everything, she said, adding she has also volunteered at local Special Olympic events.
Helping to instill that love of community service for her was high school librarian Irene Sinclair, who also serves as the student council advisor.
She was the student council advisor, and I was the president, so I got really close to her, Ms. Jenkinson said. She helped me want to work with the community, and shes an all around nice lady.
Ms. Sinclair had similiar things to say about Ms. Jenkinson.
Shes very hard working, she said. Ive known her since the seventh grade, and I try to get the kids to think about giving back to the community, whether it be the school, village or town and shes been doing that since the seventh grade.
Her dedication to community service even played into her college decision, as she said shell be involved in the Bonner Program next year at Siena.
The program, she said, consists of 900 hours of community service spread out over her freshman and sophomore year.
Theyll help me decide what kind of service I like to do, she said, adding shell have the opportunity to work with children, the eldery and even inmates.
While enrolled at Parishvile-Hopkinton, Ms. Jenkinson participated in soccer, softball and student council. She also served as her class treasurer and played saxophone in the school band.
She is the daughter of James and Pamela Jenkinson of Hopkinton and Michelle Huckins of Brasher Falls.