Each Classic Plumbing Plumber of the Month winner receives over $100 in prizes from the following sponsors: David Wickboldt at Legal Shield, Tim Culver at Classic Plumbing, Scott Miller at Bulldog Automotive, Felipe and Carmen Rebollo at Los Zarapes and Dani Tietz at the Mahomet Daily.
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Mahomet-Seymour High School Senior Kelly Trevillian found out that you never know what life is going to throw at you at a very young age.
But Kelly also learned that she is not a victim of life’s circumstances.
Nominated for the Classic Plumbing P.L.U.M.B.E.R. of the Month Award, Kelly’s mom, Jennifer wrote that at the age of 17, she has had to cope with the 2017 death of her boyfriend and best friend, Jacob Hamilton, while also watching a close family member struggle.
“Every day of her senior year, it has taken incredible maturity, courage and strength for her to walk into the high school and cope with the daily triggers and visual reminders of Jacob’s absence,” Jennifer wrote. “As her mother, I wasn’t sure how my daughter would fare with the pressures of senior year and the emotional distress of every milestone date and event without her best friend, Jacob, by her side.”
“Despite these adult sized issues being handed to her at the age of 17, she persevered and used her experiences to mentor younger students and advocate for them at the high school as well as in the community.
“I’ve always known she was a strong, independent girl and I knew her faith would sustain her through this storm, but I could never have predicted just how inspiring this year would be. She has always been a caring and loving person, but her level of empathy and her desire to help others through difficult times has grown exponentially.”
Kelly’s connection with her peers began during the 2016-2017 school year when she was selected to be one of 20 upperclassmen girls to run a classroom in Mahomet-Seymour High School’s Freshman Mentoring Program (FMP).
As part of a group that develops content that helps underclassmen grow friendships, learn about positive body image and healthy relationships, among other topics, Kelly said she has really enjoyed helping students through life’s issues.
“Through (FMP) you’re really able to connect with the girls.,” she said. “I had a couple girls from last year reach out and tell me that I actually made a difference in their lives.”
For Kelly, being there for others often meant that she had to be vulnerable with situations in her life.
“I’m glad a lot of people don’t have the situation I have with Jacob,” she said. “But there are other things people lose in their life. I can be vulnerable so people can realize that I can be there for them.”
“If we have something in our life that we’ve been through, whether it be body image, something in our family life or moving, we want to be sure that the girls know that we’re there.”
“During her time in our advisory, Kelly opened her heart and was extremely transparent with the girls,” Kelly’s FMP Sponsor Lori Clark said. “The freshman appreciated her honesty. She and Erin Krumwiede made a dynamic senior mentor team.”
As Kelly processed through her grief with Therapist Rachel Kurtz, she realized that she could also connect and provide opportunities for others to heal.
Around the same time that Kelly was working with Kurtz, another one of Kurtz’s clients was working through grief from the loss of a close family member. Kurtz encouraged her two clients to get together.
“Through that I’ve made a really close friend,” Kelly said.
Seeing how the relationship helped the two girls, Kurtz reached out to Kelly to help develop some logistical components of a private grief group that has been meeting a couple times a month since March.
“Kelly puts other people above herself as she is there for her group members by offering them a piece of advice, listening ear or making them laugh,” Kurtz said. “Grief is lifelong. There is no end point and there is no timeline. Kelly has been able to use her grief and experience to give to others.”
Kelly attributes her resiliency to her parents, the Christian environment that she grew up in and the close-knit Mahomet community.
“That definitely helped how I reacted,” she said.
“I think it was kind of a decision. At some point, I feel like I had to decide whether I was just going to let the grief and the pain eat me alive or if I could turn it into something where I could help other people.”
For Kelly, helping people doesn’t begin or end with life’s big issues. She has also been a member of the Mahomet-Seymour Volleyball team, which participates in a Veteran’s Day car wash for military members every year. This spring she also filled in her after school hours with putting in 90-work hours making costumes for the MSHS Spring Play “Beauty and the Beast.”
With graduation approaching this week, Kelly’s mom knows that her involvement in other’s life will not end at Mahomet-Seymour.
“I have no doubt that her advocacy work and leadership will continue throughout college and beyond,” she said.
In August Kelly will continue her academic studies at the University of Illinois. While she is not set on a major, she is interested in studying law, environmental health or environmental law.