Tuesday, November 15, 2016

Kendra Baber honored with the Student Laureate Award from the Lincoln Academy of Illinois

University of Illinois Springfield senior Kendra Baber was honored with the Student Laureate Award from the Lincoln Academy of Illinois on November 12, 2016, at the Old State Capitol in Springfield.

Baber, a Normal, Illinois native, holds a 3.99 GPA and is majoring in history with a minor in secondary education. She is a member of the Capital Scholars Honors Program and has made the dean’s list every semester she has attended UIS.

At UIS, she is president of the History Club and mentors fellow students through the Capital Scholars Honors Program. She volunteers with Dance Marathon, an organization that raises money for the Children’s Miracle Network, and works at the Cox Children’s Center on campus.

Baber previously served as Alternative Spring Break vice president and has participated in three trips during her time at UIS. Most recently, she traveled to New York City where she worked to fight hunger and homelessness by volunteering at soup kitchens and related service agencies.

“Through my experiences with Alternative Spring Break, my life perspectives have grown drastically,” said Baber. “These trips have allowed me to break down stereotypes that I did not even know I had. Ultimately, my world view was drastically impacted and I quickly learned the importance of helping others.”

During her first two years at UIS, Baber served as the Hunger and Homelessness Committee Chair for the Leadership for Life service organization. She coordinated the Oxfam Hunger Banquet on campus and planned a dinner with Kumler Outreach Ministries that fed over 90 in-need or homeless members of the Springfield community.

The qualities she has learned at UIS have inspired her to volunteer off campus. During the summers of 2014 and 2015, she worked at the Mom and Me Camp, a camp for children with mothers in prison. Children are allowed to spend time with their mothers and participate in a variety of fun activities.

“Without my involvement with organizations at UIS, I would never pushed myself to participate in such a life-changing experience,” said Baber.

Following graduation from UIS, Baber plans to achieve her lifelong goal of becoming a middle or high school history teacher.

“I have always wanted to be a teacher, but my studies at UIS have allowed me to feel prepared to make my dreams become a reality. Due to my education at UIS as well as my natural passion of teaching, I feel as though I can become a trustworthy, positive role model for my students,” said Baber.

Each year an outstanding senior from each of the four-year degree-granting institutions of higher learning in Illinois is awarded the Student Lincoln Academy Medallion and thereby becomes a Student Laureate of the Lincoln Academy of Illinois. Student Laureates are honored for their overall excellence in curricular and extracurricular activities.

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