Tammy Vesey is a mentor no matter where she goes.
“I work and I get off at 3:30 and then I come and I do track,” said Vesey who grew up in Rock Island.
“My grandma raised me and different people were a big part of my life,” said the Air Force veteran.
She served in the military for nine years. She’s now back home coaching girls track at her alma mater, Rock Island High School.
Cedreahna Kennedy is part of the team. She will be a senior this August.
“When I got here. Coach Tammy introduced me to hurdles, high jump…” Kennedy said. “My sophomore year is when it clicked. I was like ‘Wow. I’m actually getting good at this.’ What she’s teaching me and what she’s told me is actually correct and it’s right. And, she believed in me, so it caused me to believe in myself and I just love it.”
But, her skills in coaching don’t stop here on the track.
“On the weekends and sometimes during the week I’ll doing something with QC Women in Action,” Vesey explained.
It’s a mentorship program that educates and empowers young women.
It started about four years ago with seven girls. There are now 18 girls in the program.
“It makes me feel like I’m doing my part as far as giving back,” Vesey said. “There are people who put time and invested in me to see me be successful and now I get to give that back to those girls.”
She continued, “I love it now because some of the girls in my group are also on my track team, so it’s like a double dose of helping them and giving back to them.”
Kennedy is one of those girls.
“All I do is school, sports, work and it keeps children and of course, me -myself- out of trouble. It gives me something to do and it gives me more opportunity to meet new people and to experience new things that I have never experienced in my life,” the senior said. “She is like my second mom. I look up to her and she gives me great advice. She’s there when I need someone.”
“We try to set the girls up for success,” Vesey concluded. “It makes me feel good.”
If you’re interested in joining, the group is hosting a kick-off event this Saturday, June 25 at Wise Guys Pizza at 7 p.m. QC Women in Action is open to all high school girls in the Quad Cities Area.