Emma Grace is a rising senior whose parents met as students at Ben Lippen 28 years ago. Not only did her parents meet and graduate from BL, but her grandfather has taught at CIU for many years and currently serves as Dean of the College of Arts and Sciences. Our nominee has been a student at Ben Lippen since K5, having attended the St. Andrews Road campus for lower school. She has two sisters attending Ben Lippen as well: Ava in sixth grade and Riley in seventh. It was through the influence of our nominee's kindergarten teacher, Mrs. Grace Lehman, that she realized that her parents' faith was not her own and that she needed a personal relationship with Jesus Christ. After talking about this with her parents, she trusted Christ alone for salvation and was baptized by her father on Easter Sunday. Her spiritual life has only grown since then. She states clearly that through her parents, church, Christian friends and challenging Bible classes and teachers, she has learned what it means to grow in faith and have a developing, ongoing relationship with Jesus Christ.
Our candidate loves Ben Lippen and has been serving on the cheerleading team since in middle school. She has also been selected to serve in student leadership in high school. Last year, she served last year as sophomore class president and this year, serves this year as yearbook editor and as junior class president where she is actively planning Invitation Day and Junior/Senior Prom. She is a leader not only in student government but also in the classroom where she is a member of the National Honor Society. Emma Grace maintains a strong GPA while taking a full load of college prep, honors and dual credit classes, having doubled-up on her math classes this year as she feels that will better prepare her for college and her career calling.
Also impressive to the Board, however, is that this candidate not only maintains a full load of challenging classes, and volunteers and serves in student leadership, she also works for her parents' coffee shop, Grace Coffee Company. She has learned the business in various capacities over several years, but since last August has served Grace Coffee as manager. Some of her main responsibilities include hiring, training, scheduling, managing inventory, social media, marketing, and coordinating special events. In the last six months, she has hired and trained six employees whose ages range from 20 - 30 years old. She tells us that it is very humbling to lead adults but being in this position has grown her in numerous ways and has revealed to her different gifts the Lord has blessed her with. She makes key decisions weekly and sees the importance of working well with others as well as being an influential leader. She feels at this point that she would love to further her studies in Business or the health professions in college. Her teachers speak highly not only of her aptitude but also of her consistent joyful attitude and leadership potential. One of her teachers perhaps summarizes it best: "This young woman is quite amazing. She is a born leader but also developed in a gracious manner to influence others to excel. She demonstrates not only interest in Christian beliefs, but how to apply these beliefs to her life. She wants to know and apply what the Bible teaches. She is academically talented, socially graceful and full of leadership potential. She is the definition of what we strive for in the Ben Lippen mission statement."