Two Freeport natives, Evan Karg and Aarika Zarnick were among a number of student laureates honored by Lincoln Academy of Illinois.
Karg and Zarnick were recognized at a the 36th annual Student Laureate Convocation in the Old State Capitol historic site in Springfield. An invocation was delivered by President of Knox College, Roger Taylor, and a benediction by Lincoln Academy Regent Stanley Davis Jr. Entertainment was provided by the Sangamon Woodwind Consort followed by a luncheon at the Illinois Executive Mansion.
Lincoln Academy Student Laureate Awards are presented to senior college students for outstanding participation in curricular and extracurricular activities from colleges and universities in Illinois. Students received medallions, monetary awards and certificates of achievement.
Service to Others
Karg is a senior studying English with a minor in religion at Olivet Nazarene University, Bourbonnais. He is the son of Marvin and Teresa Karg of Freeport.
“I view it as a high honor to be able to represent my peers and the university as a whole,” Karg said.
For two years, Karg has served as Olivet Nazarene student body president. He also serves as chairman of Nazarene Student Leadership Association, which covers 11 universities in the U.S. and Canada.
As president, Karg cited some of the campus activities he has worked on including a rally in Springfield against Monetary Award Program reduction in funding and a campus event with the organization Tom’s Shoes – which gives a pair of shoes to a child in need for every pair sold.
“We had a promotion of the shoes on campus at a reduced price. We sold 300 shoes. Students picked them up. …The shoes were white, so people were painting them,” Karg said.
After graduation, he is looking into studying abroad for the fall 2011 semester and applying to graduate school.
Zarnick is a senior at St. Xavier University in Chicago majoring in biology. She is the daughter of Terri and Garry Zarnick of Freeport. Currently, she serves as a residential assistant, peer mentor to first-year students and a peer minister with St. Xavier campus ministry. She is also a member of the TriBeta National Biological Honor Society.
“I’ve been given these gifts of leadership and hospitality and it’s the best way for me to give of myself,” Zarnick said.
After graduation, Zarnick plans on taking a year to serve with Mercy Volunteer Corps and then attend medical school. Mercy Volunteer Corps is a partnership between the Sisters of Mercy of the Americas and Mercy Volunteer Corps to do service work in the areas of education, health care and social services.
“These students have exhibited a personal commitment to excel as seen by their remarkable academic accomplishments,” said Thomas Johnson, Chancellor of the Lincoln Academy in a press release. “They serve as role models to other Illinois students. With hard-working and dedicated young leaders such as these, Illinois and the rest of the nation can look forward to a bright future.”
Lincoln Academy was established 46 years ago to honor Illinois’ most distinguished citizens with the state’s highest award, the Order of Lincoln. For more information visit www.thelincolnacademyofillinois.org