The Rochester Women’s Council 2021 Young Women of Distinction finalists

The Rochester Women’s Council 2021 Young Women of Distinction finalists


One of the 2021 Young Women of Distinction scholarship award finalists has balanced being a high school student while running a T-shirt business that raises money for local charities. One volunteers as an Arabic tutor for children. One started a peer tutoring service. One has traveled to the Dominican Republic to help impoverished neighborhoods there.

The Women’s Council, part of the Greater Rochester Chamber of Commerce, has awarded Young Women of Distinction scholarships annually to area teens who embody academic excellence, leadership and community service, said Niki Gaesser, the council’s board of directors secretary.

“We feel that the recognition really solidifies and validates all their contributions to our community,” said Gaesser.

This year, the 13 Young Women of Distinction finalists from schools in Monroe and surrounding counties will be honored at a virtual ceremony from 5:30 to 6:30 p.m. Tuesday, May 18.

Four of the finalists will be granted $2,500 scholarships. The remaining finalists each will get $500 scholarships. 

“They are just so extraordinary and unique and accomplished at such a young age,” said Gaesser, who is co-chair of the event. “It makes me so happy to be part of a community that’s raising these young leaders.”

After the ceremony is over and the scholarships are awarded, the young women can go back to pursuing their dreams and ambitions. Gaesser said she and others on the Women’s Council wish to see the teens return to the Rochester area some day.

“We hope that they come back and become our future leaders,” she said. 

What follows are the biographies provided to the Women’s Council by each of the finalists. (The bios have been lightly edited for clarity.)

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Carys Carr, World of Inquiry School 58

Carys Carr of World of Inquiry School #58 is a 2021 Young Women of Distinction Award Finalist. The Women’s Council, a Greater Rochester Chamber of Commerce affiliate, announced 13 finalists. Four of them will each receive a $2,500 scholarship.

Carys Carr is a senior at World of Inquiry School 58 who ranks among the top five students of her class. She has maintained a 4.0 GPA throughout her high school career and plans to graduate early.

Carys is a member of the National Honors Society, has been named an Urban League Black Scholar and has received Black History Month Scholar Award. Most recently, she was nominated by her teachers to receive the Susan B. Anthony Award, where she was recognized for her leadership, community service and academic success.


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