During her time as a student, Mozelle Kempiak, of Marseilles, earned a reputation as a compassionate competitor as the Waubonsee Women’s Basketball Team Captain leading the team to a 2017-2018 Illinois Skyway Collegiate Conference (ISCC) Co-Champion Conference Title her sophomore year. Standing 5’ll, Kempiak’s basketball career at Waubonsee includes two-time ISCC all-conference honors, two-time National Junior College Athletic Association (NJCAA) all-region honors, and being named NJCAA regional player of the week at least twice. She also set the Waubonsee records for rebounding and double-doubles.
As a 2018 graduate and the first in her family to graduate from college, Kempiak became a model student, always encouraging others. James Williams, Waubonsee Women’s Basketball Coach, believes that Kempiak’s humble spirit has taught him and others so much about life. “She is truly a remarkable person who I know fights for some normalcy in her life all the time. She is always doing some act of kindness daily, whether it is giving back to kids in some way that are less fortunate or just paying it forward,” said Williams.
Kempiak learned many valuable life lessons from Coach Williams. “He supported me. He wanted me to go to the next level. He was a big inspiration to me because he always told me that no matter what you can accomplish things. Just because of your past, it doesn’t define you,” said Kempiak.
After graduating from Waubonsee, Kempiak received a basketball scholarship to continue her studies at Cornell College in Mount Vernon, Iowa, majoring in psychological services and minoring in kinesiology. She earned her bachelor’s degree in psychology in 2020. After Kempiak’s outstanding academic accomplishments, she knew what direction she was headed. She wanted to help children and teens who have struggled in similar ways as herself. “I’m trying to give back and doing anything that I can to do that,” says Kempiak.
Kempiak, who battled depression for most of her life, hopes to help patients who have been hospitalized or diagnosed with end-stage cancer overcome depression. Helping people navigate their mental health and overcoming adversities in life is something Kempiak is most familiar and comfortable with. She can relate to their challenges and difficulties.
Today, Kempiak serves as a youth care specialist at Maryville Academy in Bartlett. In this role, Kempiak works closely with teens of similar backgrounds to herself. She provides help and support for the young individuals she works with, in hopes of guiding them on a path to a successful future.