Jewel Kilcher, better known to the music-loving world as singer/songwriter “Jewel,” has been named one of 13 recipients of the 2019 Horatio Alger Award.
Bestowed annually to accomplished corporate, civic and cultural leaders from across North America, the award recognizes an individual’s ongoing commitment to higher education and generosity toward philanthropic endeavors. Past winners of the award include Reba McEntire (2018), Johnny Cash (1977), Waylon Jennings (1988) and more.
Jewel overcame homelessness, abuse and severe poverty to become an award-winning performer. Her 1995 debut album, Pieces of You, is one of the best-selling debut albums of all time and kicked off a versatile music career that has spanned seven studio albums, including Perfectly Clear, which reached No. 1 on the Billboard Top Country Albums chart in 2008.
“This award holds a special place in my heart,” said Jewel. “To be recognized for overcoming adversity—experiences I have given voice to through song and written story—is truly humbling. Early in life and my career, I learned to be my own champion because no one else was going to be. I understand that is the same story for many Horatio Alger Scholars, but I want them to know that they are no longer alone. I promise to be the support these students need as they navigate life’s challenges and come to know the power of their own resilience.”
The Horatio Alger Association will honor the following 13 individuals during the 72nd Horatio Alger Award induction ceremonies in Washington, D.C., on April 4–6.
- David P. Abney, chairman and CEO, United Parcel Service
- James W. Ayers, executive chairman of the board, FirstBank
- Colonel Vance L. Cryer, director of operations and experimentation, IOMAXIS
- Amy Dickinson, syndicated advice columnist, “Ask Amy”
- John J. Haley, chief executive officer, Willis Towers Watson
- Jay S. Hennick, global chairman and CEO, Colliers International; founder and chairman, FirstService Corporation
- Michael Ingram, founder, chairman and chief executive officer, El Dorado Holdings, Inc.
- Jewel Kilcher, award winning singer-songwriter, actress and New York Times best-selling author
- Ronald J. Kruszewski, chairman and CEO, Stifel Financial Corp.
- Daniel Lubetzky, founder and CEO, KIND Healthy Snacks
- John C. Maxwell, author, speaker and founder, The John Maxwell Co. and The John Maxwell Team
- Chandrika K. Tandon, business leader, Grammy-nominated musician and humanitarian
- William C. Weldon, retired chairman and CEO, Johnson & Johnson
photo by Curtis Hilbun, AFF-USA.com