• Samantha Edidin of Buffalo Grove graduated from AmeriCorps National Civilian Community Corps, Pacific Region, wrapping up 10 months of community service nationwide.
Edidin was one of 256 AmeriCorps NCCC members honored. During their term of service, corps members worked in teams of 10-12 and were deployed throughout the U.S. The Pacific Region campus' 28 teams provided much-needed support and countless hours to the residents of Missouri and Montana devastated by a tornado and flooding through work with FEMA and other grass-roots organizations.
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AmeriCorps NCCC encourages young adults ages 18-24 to commit to 10 months of community service. Corps members receive room and board and a modest living allowance in return. Upon successful completion of the program, members earn a $5,550 Education Award that can be used for educational advancement or the repayment of student loans.
• Oakton Community College President Dr. Margaret B. Lee was the recipient of a 2011 Hands of Peace Olive Branch Award from Glenview-based Hands of Peace, an interfaith nonprofit that brings together American, Palestinian and Israeli teens to enhance their peace-building and leadership skills.
Lee, a resident of Wilmette, has served on the Hands of Peace Advisory Board since 2007. The award, presented Wednesday, July 27, during a ceremony at the Jewish Reconstructionist Congregation in Evanston, recognized Lee's substantial support of the Hands of Peace program, its interfaith connections and the idea of peaceful conflict resolution that it fosters.
• Brandon Zieg, managing partner of the LongHorn Steakhouse in Des Plaines, was presented with the Joe R. Lee Diamond Club Award, Darden Restaurant's top honor.
The award, presented annually, is named after the company's retired chairman and chief executive officer. It is presented to managing partners throughout North America who demonstrate outstanding results by extending genuine Western hospitality and achieve top financial performance in the company's previous fiscal year.
• Apryl Lowe was selected to serve as the principal at Illinois Park Center for Early Learning, Elgin. Lowe returns to U-46 after serving for three years as a preschool coordinator and teacher in Geneva School District 304.
Lowe holds a bachelor's degree in early childhood/special education from the University of Wisconsin, Milwaukee. She earned a master's degree in early childhood leadership and advocacy from National Louis University and a second master's degree in educational administration from Northern Illinois University.