Glenbard East senior Faith Davies' days of sharing an old car with her twin brother, Noah, are over. In fact, when she pulls up to school Wednesday for the first day of classes, she'll do so in the newest and most famous car on the lot.
The soccer standout was honored Friday for her community volunteer work and athletic achievements -- and was handed the keys to a new 2017 Jeep Compass Sport SUV.
Faith cried as the new car, filled with her friends and soccer teammates, pulled into the Glenbard East field house Friday afternoon during an assembly for freshmen. Earlier in the day, she had spoken to the incoming students about the importance of volunteering and getting involved in the community.
"I cried. It was really overwhelming," she said. "I didn't expect it to ever be me. I had no idea."
Faith, almost 17, was randomly selected by Buddy's HELPERS, a local nonprofit organization that encourages high school athletes and their coaches to make a difference on and off the field, from a pool of more than 100 area high school athletes.
Three other Glenbard East athletes -- Mimi Camacho, Sam Johnson and Ali Liljestrand -- also were honored for community service work. Athletic Director D'Wayne Bates received a $450 check for the athletic program for the girls' efforts.
In her contest entry, Faith detailed her involvement in various community projects including Project Linus, which makes blankets for critically ill children; reading to kindergarten students every week; visiting seniors at Parkview Retirement home; and filling backpacks for the Blessings in a Backpack campaign for less-fortunate students.
On the soccer field, the Glenbard East Rams have won 41 of their last 51 games with Faith in net. Early Friday, she committed to play goalie for University of Illinois at Chicago in the fall of 2018.
"For this to get sprinkled on top, you can't ask for a better week, better month and what should be a great year and a great future for her," soccer coach Kent Overbey said after posing for pictures with Faith and her new wheels. "We've had great players through the years, but when you talk about the total package of getting it done in the classroom, incredible test scores, volunteering her time and getting it done on the soccer field, she is on par with nobody."
Overbey and Faith's parents have actually known about the prize since Faith was selected in May, but they kept it a secret so the whole school could share the honor. In fact, Faith was led to believe someone else had won the car. She thought she was attending the ceremony to speak to the freshmen and to honor Overbey for his community service efforts.
He and Faith's mom, Lucretia Davies, admitted it was hard keeping the secret all summer but said it was worth it for Faith to he able to share the honor with her friends and teammates.
Lucretia Davies said she never even came close to blowing the surprise.
"It was hard, but I was very careful because I wanted her too experience all of this," she said. "I wanted everyone to experience all of this."
Davies said her daughter's honor made her feel fulfilled as a parent.
In turn, Faith confirmed her parents and coaches all encouraged her and her teammates to give back. And she'll continue to spread the word and encouragement, too.
"This is a story I'm going to tell everyone," she said. "Forever."