Edgar Nieto of Mundelein, a senior majoring in criminology and sociology at Dominican University, recently was named a Lincoln Student Laureate by the Lincoln Academy of Illinois.
The Lincoln Academy’s Student Laureate Awards are presented for excellence in curricular and extracurricular activities to seniors from each of the four-year, degree-granting colleges and universities in Illinois.
"At Dominican, my professors have pushed me to get out of my comfort zone. They've motivated me to work on projects outside of the classroom and to make the best out of my college experience to prepare me for whatever endeavors I take on the future," Nieto said.
He has participated in several community-based learning projects during his time at Dominican, including volunteering at Chicago's St. Joseph Services-Casa De Providencia, a Humboldt Park-based social service agency, where he teaches computer classes to recent immigrants and works with children in after-school and art education programs.
Nieto is the former president of the Organization of Latin American Students and president of First in the Family, a student organization for first-generation college students. He also serves as a senior resident assistant in the university's Residence Life department and is a coordinator of the Van Outreach Program, a partnership with The Night Ministry that provides food and hospitality to those experiencing homelessness.
He has been a member of the university's Student Leadership and Ministry team and a representative to the Dominican College Students Preaching Conference in New York. He also is a Schmitt Scholar, a scholarship awarded by the Arthur J. Schmitt Foundation.
Nieto was honored at a ceremony at the Old State Capitol in Springfield and received a Student Laureate Medallion, along with an honorarium check and certificate of achievement.