For her inquisitive mind, openness to God and commitment to servant leadership, Bishop Noll senior Jalynn Edwards has been named a San Damiano Scholar at Marian University in Indianapolis.
In addition to a renewable scholarship, students in the San Damiano community participate in annual retreats, monthly service, faith-based internships as well as pursue a minor pastoral leadership.
Edwards, of Hammond, is Bishop Noll’s second San Damiano Scholar in recent years, following in the footsteps of Jackie Jania ’18, who is currently a freshman at Marian.
Edwards said she applied for the San Damiano program after learning more about it from Jania. She felt like it was a perfect fit for her future plans, which include studying communication, pastoral leadership and theater.
“I felt kind of overwhelmed when they surprised me, but extremely grateful,” Edwards said. “I had been pretty nervous ever since my interview and kept a close eye on their Facebook page to see who they were awarding the scholarship to, so I was eager to see what they had decided … I am most looking forward to the new opportunities, meeting new people, and getting a fresh start.”
Outside of the classroom, Edwards is involved in Drama Club, Choir, Student Ministry Team and soccer. She is also a Diocesan Youth Council Representative for BNI.
At St. John Bosco, she serves as a cantor, Eucharistic minister and religious education teacher. She is also a Diocesan Youth Council rep for her church.
Edwards said she appreciated many at Noll including guidance counselor Ashley Comer for having faith in her abilities, Campus Minister Stacia Bolakowski for helping her stay close to Christ, current theater teacher Kayla Jones for being a loving and positive influence and past Drama Club director Mickey Carioto for his support of her dreams.
“As Drama Club president and as an advocate for the arts, Jalynn has been a fantastic leader,” said Jones. “She is passionate and determined. She tackles every problem she comes across with a solid plan and is always putting others before herself. I am extremely proud of her because she has proven excellence and passion through her creativity, her leadership skills, and her academics.”
Bolakowski said Edwards is an individual who embodies the call of St. Ignatius of Loyola, founder of the Jesuits: "Love is shown more in actions than in words."
“Jalynn puts others before herself, and focuses on Christ and His teachings to guide her through life. She wants to share her passion for helping others by working in the Catholic church after she finishes college. I know of no other person who embodies the mission of the San Damiano Scholars program at Marian University. I am so happy for and proud of her,” she said.
English teacher Samantha Chapleau described Jalynn as kind, funny and clever. “It’s nice to see good people succeed,” she said.