For 25 years, the Alison Ney-Christa Stineman Memorial Scholarship has been awarded to graduating female Jamestown High School seniors who demonstrate leadership, academic success, community involvement, and serve as a good role model for others.
During the JHS Class of 2020 virtual awards ceremony, on behalf of the Ney and Stineman families, Dr. Lillian Ney announced Karley Kennedy as the recipient of this year’s $5,000 scholarship.
“Karley has distinguished herself by her hard work and dedication, academic success, creativity and initiative, leadership, volunteerism, appreciation of the environment and love of nature, and her hopes for sustainable communities,” said Dr. Ney, Alison’s mother.
As Karley watched the ceremony with her family at her side and heard her name announced as this year’s recipient, she glanced over at her father, beaming with pride.
While many of the recipients over the past 25 years may not have known Alison or Christa, that simply wasn’t the case in the Kennedy household.
“My father was also a member of the Class of 1988 and knew both Alison and Christa very well,” Karley said. “He told me they were smart, hardworking and incredibly kind; that they lit up a room when they walked in.”
Following their graduation from JHS, the two best friends roomed together at Wheaton College in Norton, Massachusetts while Christa earned her Bachelor’s degree in chemistry and Alison earned her Bachelor’s degree in international relations.
On November 23, 1993, these bright, young women were tragically killed in a car accident in North Carolina. Christa was working towards her PhD in toxicology at the University of North Carolina and Alison was a research assistant in U.S.-Russian relations at the Brookings Institute in Washington, DC.
Their families created this scholarship with the Chautauqua Region Community Foundation to preserve their memories while recognizing outstanding young women on their path to continuing their education at the college level.
“My father told me that, other than my mother, that he couldn’t think of anyone he would rather see my sisters and I grow up to be like than Alison and Christa,” Karley said.
In the fall, Karley will attend Gannon University to study Health Science/Biology with the goal of becoming a physician assistant. While at JHS, Karley was a member of the cross country team, vice president of National Honor Society, vice president of Key Club, and secretary of the Class of 2020.
Aside from her athletic and academic achievements, Karley is an excellent role model, volunteering at Lincoln Elementary, assisting young dance students and mentoring third graders as part of the Chautauqua Area Scholarship Program, of which Karley was named the winner of in 2019.
“To receive this award in its 25th year is an honor I am having trouble expressing in words. I promise that I will do everything possible to represent Alison and Christa with pride,” Karley said.