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AM Best

FCSLA 2017 Youth Fraternalist of the Year:
Frances A. Miklovic

Frances A. MiklovicFrances has initiated, the first ever for Junior Branch J-011, Matching Funds Projects at St. Simon the Apostle Parish, (where she attended grade school) First there was the Backpack Buddies' program where monetary donations were collected throughout the school & parish (St. Simon the Apostle) to procure backpacks and fill them with nutritional food items for distribution to schools where a significant number of students, who are at-risk of hunger, don't have consistent access to enough nutritious food. Many of these children rely on school meals to provide breakfast and lunch during the school year. During breaks, such as weekends and holidays, many of these children go home to little or no meals.

The second project was the Ugandan Cow Project fundraiser securing funds, throughout the school & parish (St. Simon the Apostle), to procure milk cows for families at a ranch in Uganda who will then raise the cows for milk and mate them to breed additional cows that could be sold or used to generate more milk that can be sold, in essence, to decrease the malnutrition among Ugandan children. Doing community service and helping other people made Frances realize that she is very blessed and she wanted to give back to others the opportunity to be strong and healthy. Frances' efforts reaped 3 Cows from school collection. Each cow cost $800.

Next, Frances created for Branch S-101 a Matching Fund golf challenge at golf course green # 14 that challenged golfers to 'land' on the green with their initial drive during the St. Simon the Apostle Parish Youth Ministry Golf Tournament. Frances welcomed over 250 golfers at green # 14 verbally 'challenging' each one of them to donate $5.00 to support the transportation needs of the Youth Ministry for their summer Steubenville Retreat in Springfield Missouri. Every golfer accepted her challenge without reservation – generating $476 – Total net receipts for the tournament was over $8,007.

During our annual Branch Business & Holiday Luncheon Frances, and other J-011 members act as hostesses welcoming other Branch members distributing FCSLA 'freebies' as attendance prizes.

For quite a few years Frances has participated in a program called "Ryan's Pillow Case for Smiles" where pillowslips are created for children struck with cancer who spend time in the hospital for chemotherapy – at St. Simon the Apostle & St. Mary Magdalen Parishes. A hospital experience can be terrifying and traumatic for both a child and their family. While others strive to find a cure, Ryan's Pillow Case for Smiles helps with the stress and emotional impact of illness in the here and now. The whimsical pillow cases, created by the two groups that Frances sews for, gives children an emotional boost, while resources and tools help families better understand and cope with the experience. Sadly, the stream of sick children never ends!

After the Freshmen girls' volleyball season had ended, Frances learned that her coach, who had never coached volleyball, was the school's mentor for the debate team. Frances' coach advised that the only reason he took the volleyball coaching position was because he had learned that if no one 'stepped-forward' there would be any team. Now the coach was having a hard time filling the debate team with participants. Frances volunteered to help her 'coach' by volunteering to participate.

Frances, and other teenaged high school girls, 'started' a Church Ministry group, "The Pro-s," supporting the following activities - pro-life & service at St. Dominic Savio Catholic Church in South County St. Louis - at the Pauline Books & Media ( inventorying & categorizing religious books ) - the Franciscan Sisters ( sorting donated baby clothes for the local Birthright Agencies ). With minimal adult supervision, this group of young women adopted their own bylaws and a vision statement for spreading the pro-life message which advocates that human life begins at conception and that the human embryo is a person and, therefore, has a right to life. The Pro-s also provided 'fundraising service' where needed in the pro-life community thru fundraisers benefiting The Mother's Inn & Nurses for Newborns. She received her Girl Scout Marian award thru the Pro-s. The Pro-s also assisted the St. Dominic Savio Catholic Church in South County with the planting of spring flowers on their Parish campus.

The Youth Ministry at St. Simon the Apostle has a group called – Luke 18 Retreat Leaders. Frances is a youth-leader-member of this Youth Ministry that assists in the Luke 18 Retreat. Luke 18 is a youth group focused on helping kids find their way to God through a spiritual retreat held at St. Simon the Apostle Church annually. The group's 'vision' is based on that bible passage. The retreatants are aged anywhere from 11-15 who find their way to God through this retreat.

Frances helped promote & 'run' the children's Holy Hour at St. Simon the Apostle which encompassed one hour, weekly, of adoration with confession followed by benediction -- the process being 'kid-friendly.'

Frances was selected to be a St. Simon the Apostle Ambassador, which entailed acting as a Hostess to parents & outsiders for school events and being Tour, guides during Catholic Schools Week celebrations and Open Houses. Frances has participated in this service for three years, which is normally a one-year assignment. While at St. Simon the Apostle she has been an Honor Student for four years in a row – 5 th thru 8th grade.

Frances assisted, at St. Simon the Apostle, during the summer, as a counselor for the following summer programs 1) Vacation Bible School – Camp Counselor organizing & supervising snack / game time; 2) Lady Bug Camp – Camp Counselor for girls ages 3 – 9 supervising craft projects / nature education / addressing proper etiquette thru the study of the Blessed Mother.

Frances is a genuine, polite, energetic and kindhearted soul. Frances has made meaningful contributions in not only her personal life with family & friends but also for her school & surrounding communities / religious agencies. Her participation in church activities is motivated by a strong sense of moral & human ethics as she demonstrated with her participation with her church & Catholic ethic by attending the January 2018 Pro-life March in Washington D.C. with her Youth Ministry Club sponsored by her parish. Additionally, in her first year of high school, she has maintained 4.00 GPA. Her intelligence, confidence, and strong values & respect are undoubtedly making a difference in the community around her.

Frances is the oldest of five children and there are two birds & one fish that cohabitate in her residence. Frances loves all sports, and, as previously reported, participated in high school volleyball and looks forward to being the boy's volleyball high school manager. She is an excellent seamstress (sewing Boy Scout patches for her brothers and Dad who are all 'scouters') and she loves to knit hats for babies!

Thank you to her grandfather, Joe Miklovic for nominating Frances. As you can see she is very deserving of this award.

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