She may be busy now, but the payoff for Calvert High junior Dataya Resenois is a chance to step into the future spotlight. The Prince Frederick resident was recently selected as a recipient of a Women of Tomorrow Award from the Maryland Commission for Women.
This prestigious award, established in 1997, recognizes and honors extraordinary young women who have demonstrated a commitment to leadership, community service and academic excellence. Five honorees were selected from a field of 79 nominees from 20 counties and 56 schools across the state.
Dataya’s impressive list of accomplishments caught the attention of the selection committee that reviews women nominated by Maryland educators, individuals, organizations and community leaders. Community leader Rochelle Hawkins nominated Dataya.
“I play the saxophone in the school band, I’m president of the Destined4Success Club, we work on service projects and plan college tours, I participate in Skills USA and I’m active with my church group Daughters of Compassion, that works with Farming 4 Hunger and Project Echo,” says the nominee, who does all this while maintaining a 4.1 GPA and working part-time at a childcare facility.
Dataya’s hard work and dedication will be recognized at a ceremony next month. “The young women receive the award and a citation from the governor when inductees into the Maryland Women’s Hall of Fame are also honored,” says Judith Vaughan-Prather, executive director of the commission.
Girls in grades 10, 11 and 12 are eligible for nomination. “As far as I can tell, Dataya is one of only six women from Calvert County, and the only one from Calvert High School, to receive this award, since 2000,” says Vaughan-Prather.
Dataya is grateful for the recognition. “It means a lot to me. I’m touched because everything I do is sometimes not acknowledged and now the state of Maryland and the Commission are acknowledging the work I’m putting in—it makes me feel great.”
She credits her family, including four younger siblings and her mother Tersheia Mackall, for being her biggest supporters. But there is one woman in her life who paved the way for her.
“My grandmother is my role model—she’s been through a lot, growing up during segregation, one of nine kids. She didn’t have a lot, didn’t get the opportunity to go to college or do something for herself. She inspires me to do more.”
The future appears bright for this accomplished young woman, who wants to attend Howard University and study biology in hopes of becoming a physician assistant. “I want to help people—I’ve seen a lot of people get sick around me in the past and I want to be able to help them in the future,” says Dataya.