JTHS Alumni Spotlight: Gina Linko, Joliet Central H.S. Class of 1992

ginalinko.jpgCareer & Education At-a-Glance

  • University of St. Francis - B.A.
  • DePaul University – Master’s
  • Authored the following:
    • Flutter
    • Indigo
    • Allie’s Answers
    • Frank’s Fear
    • Holden’s Heart
    • Rebecca’s Return

Joliet Central High School Alumna Gina Link (’92) is living the dream of booklovers everywhere, working as a published author for young adult novels. Her love for reading and writing began as a student at Reedswood Elementary School and continued to flourish at Dirksen Junior High School and beyond.

As a high school student, Linko also took advantage of a wide range of opportunities available to her by participating in basketball, peer tutoring, softball, volleyball, and cross country.

Looking back on the education that helped prepare her, Linko expressed gratitude for having had inspirational teachers and said, “Coach Marvin Reed meant so much to me. He always pushed us to be the best we could be. He really listened to students, which is a rare thing, and he made us think about what kind of person we wanted to become -- not just what test score we might achieve.”

After her positive experiences in Joliet Central High School, Linko went on to study at the University of St. Francis for her bachelor's degree and DePaul University for a master's degree.

She now gets to enjoy her career that fulfills her passion, writing books for teens and middle-grade readers. Always hard at work, Linko has a new book, Flower Moon, coming out in January 2018.

When asked what advice she offers for current high school students, Linko says, “Dream bigger. Read more. And believe in yourself.”

Linko added, “I have always loved Joliet Central, and thought that I was so well prepared for life after high school because of all the devoted teachers there.

I can remember specifically this one time in Junior English class, when I was debating applying for a certain scholarship, talking myself out of it, wondering whether I was good enough, Mr. Reilly looked at me and said, ‘Do it. Someone's going to get that slot, get that money. Why not you?’

I think of his remarks often -- whenever I'm doubting myself.  Why not me? 

I challenge young people with the same sentiment. Someone will be the next video game designer, the next breakthrough scientist, the next great American novelist. Why not you?” 

Learn more about Gina Linko’s novels by visiting www.ginalinko.com

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