Investment in this fund allows us to expand our efforts to highlight the accomplishments of distinguished Illinoisans and to ‘pay it forward’ by encouraging excellence and principled civic engagement in young leaders. Our goals include: 1) connecting Student Laureates with senior members of The Lincoln Academy of Illinois who can act as mentors and encouragers; and 2) instilling in the next generation a commitment to lead “in the spirit of Abraham Lincoln” to the betterment of humanity.
Mariah Dicksen, our 2019 Student Laureate from Western Illinois University, may just be the next Dr. Fauci.
Mariah told us, "Lincoln had a vision to create a country of equality, and I have a vision to create a disease-free world. Lincoln worked hard for his goals: he was self-educated and honest. He was not afraid of challenges and would lay out plans to surmount these obstacles. When faced with the issue of slavery, he promoted the 13th Amendment and kept the Union together to end the Civil War. I have a clear path towards my goal and no challenges will stop me. While I may not have a war in front of me, I have the emergence of mutating viruses, epidemics and outbreaks. To combat this, I will obtain a Doctorate in Microbiology and enter a career of disease and immunology research."
In addition to being named a Lincoln Student Laureate, Mariah was also the first female WIU student to receive the prestigious Barry Goldwater Scholarship. ... See MoreSee Less
Rachel believes as Lincoln stated, "The philosophy of the schoolroom in one generation will be the philosophy of government in the next."
Read Rachel's student statement in its entirety below:
Lincoln’s Leadership Legacy lays the groundwork to encourage civic engagement and change for years to come. As a future educator who is passionate about the field I am heading into, I realize that setting the foundation for a future of civic engagement and community involvement is crucial at an early age. Lincoln himself stated that “The philosophy of the schoolroom in one generation will be the philosophy of government in the next." The goal of the educational system should not only be to create productive members of society, but also to teach children that they can be the change they want to see in the world. The leadership experience I have accumulated throughout college has not only been for my benefit, but more importantly for the benefit of every life that I come in contact with throughout my career as an educator. This Leadership Legacy helps promote the idea that the greater good is a concept to constantly work towards. Another important aspect of education is exposing students to new circumstances and ideas. Bringing cultural awareness and experiences to students can make each and every child more empathetic and better suited to face the challenges that are set forth in today’s society. Preparing future generations at a young age for civic involvement will set the tone for how society will work as a whole in the future. Legacies such as this remind us that involving ourselves in our communities and focusing on the greater good are valuable qualities associated with leading a fulfilled life. ... See MoreSee Less