Governor Bruce Rauner, Jeanette and Samuel Contreras, GSU Student Laureate Samantha Allen with daughter Ayana, and Illinois First Lady Diana Rauner. Source: http://thelincolnacademyofillinois.org
University Park, IL–(ENEWSPF)–November 21, 2016 – Park Forest resident, Samantha Allen, a senior at Governors State University, is doing her best to achieve academically, give back to her community, and nurture her family – all while working a full-time job. For all her hard work and dedication, Allen was recently named the 2016 Lincoln Laureate from Governors State University.
Each year an outstanding senior from each of the four-year, degree granting institutions of higher learning in Illinois is named a Student Laureate of The Lincoln Academy of Illinois. Laureates are honored for their leadership both in and out of the classroom and for their dedication to helping others.
“I was pleased to be nominated and surprised when I won,” said Allen, a senior in GSU’s Early Childhood Education teacher licensure tract degree program.
Allen’s commitment to others is shown in every facet of her life. As a full time employee of the Athletic and Recreation Center at GSU, Allen is a life guard and CPR and swimming instructor. She is also a full-time mother of a little girl, newly married, and a student who regularly makes the Dean’s List. In addition to her home, work, and school commitments, Allen serves as president of the Student Education Association at GSU and Vice President of the State of Illinois SEA. Allen is also involved in missionary work through her church, leading a group to Honduras every summer to complete a service project and host vacation Bible school for children.
“I like to be involved,” says Allen. “I strive to be successful for a purpose – to make life better for other people.”
Dr. Katy Hisrich, assistant professor in the College of Education, nominated Allen writing, “As you can see from her goals, experience, skills, dedication (to school, work, church, and the community), and hard work, Samantha Allen is an extremely unique individual. She undoubtedly has earned this award.”
As a Student Laureate, Allen was honored in a ceremony in the Old State Capital Building in Springfield, Illinois. Each recipient received a Student Laureate Medallion, a certificate of achievement, and a stipend toward travel and other expenses. Celebrating her achievement with Allen in Springfield were her parents and her daughter.
After she graduates in the spring of 2017, Allen hopes to continue to serve others by teaching young children in Chicago Heights, where she grew up, or in one of the nearby communities.
Governors State University serves more than 5,500 undergraduate and graduate students with 62 degree programs that prepare them for success in business, industry, healthcare, the arts and education. As a state university, GSU is committed to providing high-quality, accessible, and responsible higher education opportunities. GSU is located 40 miles south of Chicago in University Park, IL and offers the most affordable undergraduate tuition and fees in the state. GSU is committed to embracing diversity and academic excellence.
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