Jabria Stainback has been a mainstay on the Proviso West High School track team for the last few years, competing in numerous events.
This fall, she will take her talents on the track and in the classroom to the University of St. Francis in Joliet.
Jabria, 18 and a graduating senior at Proviso Math and Science Academy, signed her letter of intent to St. Francis on April 12 as Steve Lawrence, associate head track coach at St. Francis, and Jabria’s family looked on in the PMSA main office. She said that she had considered the University of Iowa and Illinois State University, but she felt very welcome at St. Francis.
"It was a very homey feeling," Jabria said. "I have a lot of trust in Coach Lawrence. Going there, I feel I will be a part of history."
Lawrence cited Jabria’s skills on the track and her character as what prompted him to sign her.
"We’re excited to have her," he said of Jabria, who competed in the 4 X 100 meter relay, 4 X 200 meter relay, and open 200 meters, high jump, and triple jump event for Proviso West. "She’s one of the Fab Five freshmen we’re hoping to sign."
Ms. Peggy Whitlow, coach of the Proviso West girls’ track team, said that she has enjoyed working with a "talented scholar athlete" such as Jabria.
"She has demonstrated consistent improvement every season," Coach Whitlow said. "Her name appears on the Proviso West records board in a couple of events, and she qualified for the state meet in the triple jump and in sprint relays as a junior. As she transitions to college athletics, I expect her to be a valued addition to a fine college program."
Dr. Nettie Collins-Hart, superintendent of District 209, said that Jabria is receiving an excellent opportunity.
"This is a great opportunity for her to be able to continue her education after graduation," Dr. Collins-Hart said. "To be able to do so with the support of her school and her family is an asset that all students need in order to succeed."
Ms. Kim Echols, principal at PMSA, said that Jabria is a "phenomenal and resilient person, student, and athlete."
"She is a strong and independent thinker and she is determined to succeed on and off the field," Ms. Echols said. "What I love most about Jabria is she is a leader and not a follower, and her being a leader has garnered her a full ride to St. Francis. This is the first of many stories to be written about Jabria Stainback."