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Isothermal student earns top state leadership award

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Lauren Street

Isothermal student Lauren Street was named the 2020 recipient of the North Carolina Community College System's highest honor for student leadership.

Street, the 2019-20 president of Isothermal's Student Government Association, was awarded the prestigious Governor Bob Scott Leadership Award this year. She was selected by a group of community college presidents and system office administrators from a pool of six finalists spanning North Carolina's 58 community colleges.

Pres. Walter Dalton of Isothermal and Dr. Kim Gold, the NCCCS executive vice president and former Isothermal chief academic officer, presented the award to Street. Sandra Lackner, Isothermal's dean of students who nominated Street for the award, was also on hand.

"Lauren is well deserving of this statewide award. She has led our student government association admirably and has been a leader on campus in many ways for the last two years," said Dalton. "The Bob Scott Award is named for former Governor Bob Scott and the man who had the longest tenure as our community college system president. I believe Governor Scott would be pleased with Lauren's selection and the wisdom of the selection committee is to be applauded."

In 2004, the North Carolina Association of Community College Presidents created the Governor Robert Scott Leadership Award as a way to recognize student leadership on a statewide level while also honoring Scott who served as the North Carolina's chief executive from 1968 to 1972 and then was president of the community college system for 12 years from 1983 to 1995. Scott passed away in January of 2009, but he was very humbled that the system named a student award in his honor. This is an award designed to highlight outstanding curriculum student leadership and service.

"I am so proud of Lauren and all that she has accomplished," said Gold. "She is an excellent example of the type of leader that the Bob Scott Award was designed to recognize. Lauren's enthusiasm for learning and her willingness to invest her talents in helping others is truly inspiring. I wish Lauren all the best in her future endeavors."

Street joined the workforce right after she earned her high school diploma. In her essay for the nomination review panel, she wrote about how disappointed many people in her life were that she chose not to go to college immediately after being homeschooled by her mother.

"'She'll never go back,' they said. 'She'll never accomplish anything,'" Street wrote. "They were wrong. I am a first-generation college student. It was not only my hopes and dreams that were weighing on my shoulders as I entered my advisor's office for the first time; instead I carried with me the ambitions of many."

Once at Isothermal, Street was surprised how much her involvement in the Student Government Association meant to her.

"I walked into the situation with an addition to my resumé in mind, but in the end, all that mattered was the love I felt for my school and everyone who worked and studied there," she said. "Over the past two years, I have undergone a wonderful metamorphosis, and it is during that time that my role as a leader has truly taken shape."

Street reflected on the award in her characteristically humble manner.

"Honestly, verbalizing how honored I am to have even been nominated for this award is difficult," she said. "I love Isothermal and all of the opportunities it has offered me. Being recognized in such a manner, as I am only one of many amazing students across the community college system, has only intensified my desire to succeed and give back to the community when I graduate. I am extremely grateful."

Before her term as SGA president, Street served as SGA vice president and the organization's senator from the Business Sciences Department. She was involved in the National Society of Leadership and Success and the Student Leadership Development Program along with the ACTS Club and the WINGS Club, which are campus service and women's ministry organizations respectively. She has received several local and state awards for service and leadership.

Street is a first-rank black belt in Shorin-Ryu karate and has won gold medals in local, state and national events.

Street found another benefit of going to Isothermal recently. She is engaged to be married to classmate Jonathan Hanson.

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