In addition to the President’s Martin Luther King Jr. Legacy Awards presented at the University’s Jan. 20 recognition ceremony on campus, several additional student awards were given.
Two deserving students received the Martin Luther King, Jr. Student Leadership Award given annually to Creighton students who demonstrate Dr. King’s legacy in the areas of social justice and civil rights advocacy. Honorees exhibited distinguished civic, cultural or volunteer service and commitment to the educational and community ideals espoused in the University’s mission statement.
Natalie Lyon, Bryon, Ill., a senior in the College of Nursing was acknowledged for her efforts in supporting Justice without Borders specifically dealing with workers’ rights. She is president of Legado and has been a role model for accepting all people and cultures, participating in trips to Encuentro Domincano and the Institute for Latin American Concern (ILAC). Lyon is known as someone passionate about becoming knowledgeable, and educating others about social justice issues. She currently is working on a Kids Against Hunger food packing event in Omaha.
Also receiving a student award was Ivori Crawford, Omaha, Neb., School of Pharmacy and Health Professions. Crawford was involved in our Health Sciences Multicultural and Community Affairs Pre-Matriculation Program in 2011 and earned a full scholarship to Creighton’s pharmacy program.
She currently serves as president of the Multicultural Health Science Student Association. Under her leadership, the group has promoted educational sessions on HIV and Common Ground, a series of weekly seminars discussing health disparities. Also active in the group’s community service activities, she has served as mentor and member of several pharmacy and health system organizations.
Amanda Spring, received the Tamara Faye Stovall-Smith “Fulfill a Dream” Award. The award was established in memory and honor of Smith, the former Director of the Educational Opportunity Center, who died in 2012. Smith worked as an advocate for low–income and nontraditional students during her 13 years at Creighton University. The honor is given annually to a student enrolled in the University’s Educational Opportunity Center (EOC), a TRIO program funded by the Department of Education to provide counseling and information on college admissions to qualified adults who want to enter or continue a program of postsecondary education.
Spring overcame a challenging childhood with an ill father who could not work and a mother that suffered depression. She dropped out of high school to support her parents and siblings. She worked at McDonald’s and gave every cent she earned to her parents for basic necessities for the family. At 17, she gave birth to a little girl, and thought that her chances of furthering her education had come to an end. However she got involved with the Creighton EOC and met Karrie Scott, a counselor in the program, who mentored her and shared her own story of earning a master’s degree while taking care of two kids, a house and husband.
Her example has spurred Spring to get her GED, and she now wants to pursue a degree in teaching or psychology.