Nicolette Owens of Springfield has been selected as the University of Illinois Springfield (UIS) student recipient of the Student Laureate Award from the Lincoln Academy of Illinois. Only one UIS student is honored with the prestigious award each academic year.
“My first reaction to being named the UIS Lincoln Laureate was surprise,” she said. “As I continued to read my letter from the chancellor, I felt a sense of pride and accomplishment. Overall, I am honored to be named the UIS Lincoln Laureate. This is such a huge recognition, and I am beyond grateful for this award.”
At UIS, Owens is majoring in elementary education and psychology. Before attending UIS, she earned an associate’s degree in performing arts with an emphasis in vocal performance at the Young Americans College of the Performing Arts in Corona, California.
“After I earned my degree with the Young Americans, I had the amazing opportunity to tour with the group,” she said. “This amazing experience allowed me to travel the world while performing and teaching children performing arts. After I came home from this experience, I realized how much I love to teach and wanted to continue my education locally at UIS.”
On campus, she is a member of the Christian Student Fellowship student organization where she is a service team leader. The team helps organize volunteer projects for students to participate in throughout the year.
“I love the community at UIS and am involved with groups here on campus, one of them being Christian Student Fellowship,” she said.
After graduation, she plans to become an elementary school teacher in order to make a positive impact on students in their early years and foster a love for learning.
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 and receive a $500 stipend.