A Naval Academy midshipman was presented the Penn Mutual Life of Significance Award during the Penn Mutual Collegiate Rugby Championship June 3-4 at Talen Energy Stadium in Philadelphia.
Midshipman 1/C Jenna Jones received the award for her leadership as the president of Navy Women's Rugby and her dedication to community service.
The award is given annually to a collegiate rugby player participating in the CRC. The recipient exemplifies Penn Mutual’s values of integrity, commitment and respect, and has made substantial contributions to society and their community.
"I didn’t really think when I came to USNA that I would end up playing rugby," said Jones, who was encouraged to try it out during Plebe Summer. "Now it’s been three years. When I found the rugby team, I found my home and I wouldn’t trade it for the world."
The Life of Significance Award is inspired by the book authored by Joseph Jordan, “Living a Life of Significance,” which focuses on the positive impact the life insurance industry has on society.
Jones became active in community service as a high school student as a member of JROTC and the Key Club.
"I loved being around people who wanted to give back to the community and helped others, and that followed me here to USNA,” she said.
Here, Jones leads a team of 30 women on the rugby team and dedicates time to several community service projects, including Toys for Tots, The Boys and Girls Club and the Maryland Special Olympics.
She also serves as a peer educator and mentor for the academy's Sexual Harassment Assault Prevention Education (SHAPE) program.
"I really didn’t feel like I was prepared to handle the situation of sexual harassment or assault before I came to USNA and started taking SHAPE classes, and I wanted to get involved so that I could help other Midshipmen here and the Sailors I will be leading out in the fleet,” she said.
The Life of Significance Award includes a $5,000 contribution to the charity of the recipient’s choice, and the USNA’s rugby team will receive $1,000 in Rhino Rugby gear.
"I’m so thankful for the opportunities I’ve been afforded by coming here to USNA," said Jones. "Between rugby and getting involved with the community in the last three years, I’ve learned and have been able to grow as a person and as a leader more than I have in my whole life."
Jones is the second midshipman to receive the award since the program began two years ago. The inaugural award was presented to then Midshipman 1st Class David Schroeder.