Student Maria Cardenas Receives Lincoln Laureate The state of Illinois makes the awards to top students

Congratulations are in order for Maria Elena Cardenas, a student in National Louis University’s Criminal Justice program. She received the Lincoln Laureate award from the Lincoln Academy of Illinois.

Every year, the Academy selects an outstanding senior from each college and university in the state to receive the prestigious honor. Cardenas traveled to Springfield for the ceremony, which is held in the Old State Capitol.

“In the spirit of Lincoln, Student Laureates are honored for their leadership and service in the pursuit of the betterment of humanity and for overall excellence in curricular and extracurricular activities,” according to the Academy.

National Louis asks applicants for the Lincoln Laureate to submit an essay describing extracurricular activities. Candidates must also demonstrate outstanding academic excellence, high GPA and leadership and have no pending disciplinary complaints.

Cardenas had a 4.0 GPA when she applied for the award. She is expected to graduate in June.