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Hallee Hess is a senior at J.I. Case High School, and she was nominated to appear in our casual series – in partnership with Racine Uncovered – Excellence in Racine by her aunt, Shanda Hess, not just because she is an academic success but also because she’s a compassionate person who cares deeply about others.

Here’s a short run-down of Hallee’s activities:

  • National Honor Society
  • Key Club (high school level Kiwanis Club)
  • Student-Athlete (swim team)
  • Manager of wrestling team
  • College courses at UW-Parkside
  • Missionary trips with Grace Church to Guatemala setting up free medical/dental clinics for underserved families
  • Works as a CNA with a 22-year-old man with epilepsy

“I can’t even say enough good things about this bright, ambitious young woman. I see so many amazing things in her future, her plans on helping people, bettering people’s lives,” Shanda wrote to Racine County Eye.

Hallee was surprised that her aunt recommended her, but she happy to participate because she also wants to spread the good news about good students and teachers in the school district.

“People in general focus too much on the bad news so I’m glad I can help put some good news out there,” she said.

Hallee plans to attend UW-LaCrosse in the fall with her career sights set on being a physician’s assistant. When she arrives in LaCrosse in August, Hallee said she plans on getting involved in campus life right away. She’s probably not going to swim for LaCrosse but she will participate in intramural sports and she’ll join the Circle K club – the college level Kiwanis Club – to continue her volunteer efforts.

Though she wants to recognize Marisa Fellion, her IB Chemistry teacher, and UWP professor Brian Lewis for helping through her present and prepare for her future, Hallee credits her mom as the secret to her success.

“My mom had me young, but she graduated high school, she got a degree, and I know that if she could do it, then so can I,” she said.

There was a lot of help from her grandparents, too, while she was growing up, but Hallee said watching her mom raise her and her younger brother who’s a 7th grader at Starbuck Middle School mostly on her own gives her the courage to go for what she wants.

“My mom succeeded despite challenges and she makes me want to reach and go farther,” Hallee added.