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Visit Quad Cities Names 2024 Patty Viverito Emerging Leader Scholars

Visit Quad Cities is pleased to announce the 2024 Patty Viverito Emerging Leader Scholarship recipients. Named in honor of Patty Viverito, former senior associate commissioner at the Missouri Valley Conference (MVC) and MVC football commissioner, the program recognizes female student-athletes who demonstrate academic excellence, leadership characteristics and community engagement.

Applicants were tasked with submitting a 500-word essay detailing their leadership experience, volunteerism and sports participation. With an award of $1,000 per student, the program provides support and empowerment to these young leaders as they transition into their collegiate careers, continuing to make meaningful contributions to their communities.

From a competitive pool of applicants, Nylea Cruz and Clair Hulke were chosen to receive the 2024 Patty Viverito Emerging Leader Scholarship Award.

Visit Quad Cities Names 2024 Patty Viverito Emerging Leader Scholars

“Nylea and Clair were selected this year because they truly embody the legacy and values championed by Patty Viverito,” said Joan Kranovich Vice President of Business Growth of Visit Quad Cities and Director of Sports QC. “Through their dedication to sports and service, they’re not just following in Patty’s footsteps; they’re blazing their own trail, shaping the future of the Quad Cities region. We’re honored to support these remarkable young leaders.”


Nylea Cruz, a senior at United Township High School, is deeply involved in her community and passionate about assisting others. As a member of school organizations such as the Key Club and Interact Club, she actively participates in community service projects, including volunteering at blood drives and fundraising events like the Knights of Columbus Tootsie Roll Drive.

Nylea’s commitment to inclusivity is evident in her work with the Illinois Special Olympics, where she supports athletes with impairments to excel in their sport. On the soccer field, Nylea’s leadership shines as she has played since the age of 3, starting with the East Moline Soccer Club and eventually becoming varsity team captain in both her junior and senior years. Her dedication extends beyond her school team, as she also volunteers with the East Moline Silvis Soccer Club and manages concessions at high school soccer games. With a strong faith and love for the game, Nylea looks forward to continuing her soccer journey in college.


Clair Hulke, a senior at Alleman High School, exemplifies leadership both inside and outside the classroom. Serving as president of the student council, Clair coordinates school-wide activities and fosters collaboration among different groups. As captain of the basketball and volleyball teams, she inspires her teammates, creating a positive and supportive environment on the court.

 In her community, Clair goes above and beyond, exceeding the required service hours by actively participating in various volunteer activities. From organizing food drives to mentoring younger children at summer sports camps, Clair demonstrates her commitment to making a difference. Her involvement in sports, including basketball, volleyball, and soccer, has not only enhanced her athletic skills but also allowed her to take on leadership roles within her teams.

Visit Quad Cities Names 2024 Patty Viverito Emerging Leader Scholars

Visit Quad Cities Names 2024 Patty Viverito Emerging Leader Scholars

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Sean Leary Director of Digital Media

Sean Leary is an author, director, artist, musician, producer and entrepreneur who has been writing professionally since debuting at age 11 in the pages of the Comics Buyers Guide. An honors graduate of the University of Southern California masters program, he has written over 50 books including the best-sellers The Arimathean, Every Number is Lucky to Someone and We Are All Characters.

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