Burke, VA, currently living in Charlotte, NC,
Job that Pays the Bills:
Undergraduate Student at Queens University of Charlotte
Fort Hunt Girls High School Rugby
Queens University of Charlotte
El Salvador Women’s National Team
Leading Like a Boss:
Ilene created and spearheaded an effort to provide gift baskets and letters to all cleaning and support staff across campus. The effort earned the team the Royals Service Award for the month of December, a first for the rugby program. At the End of Year Awards, the Women’s team was also recognized for their efforts across the full 2021-2022 year for most volunteer hours across all sports - an effort led by Ilene.
DICE (Diversity, Inclusion, and Community Engagement) rugby representative for 2021-2022 and will be again for 2022-2023.
Girls Rugby, Inc. (acted as a translator for Spanish-speaking families)
St. Andrew’s Church (tutor and translator for elementary, middle, and high school students)
Why We Love Ilene:
Ilene has not had an easy life. In high school she looked for a sport where she could feel at home, express her authentic self, and relieve stress. Rugby gave her all of that - and provided her with a scholarship to college and an opportunity to play for the El Salvadoran national team. Ilene doesn’t take these opportunities for granted. She consistently focuses on making her teammates and community better. As a BIPOC, bi-lingual woman in rugby, she is inspiring; she is a mentor and example for all women in rugby.
All photos provided by the award recipient