By Julie Lord
When Grace Elizabeth Groner, a Lake Forest College class of 1931 alumna, passed away in January 2010 at the age of 100, she left a generous gift to her alma mater: The Grace Elizabeth Groner Foundation (GEGF). The foundation offers unique local, national and international service-learning opportunities to Lake Forest College students, while it also provides support and training to help students meet their academic goals.
One of the twenty-two recipients is golf player Amanda Lee ’21 who happened to be at the right place at the right time. While waiting in the student center during the beginning of her freshman year, Amanda saw an elderly woman experiencing trouble with her phone. Service-oriented as she was, she approached the lady to help her out. The woman turned out to be no other than Kay Marlatt, a trustee of the foundation.
Amanda recalls, “after talking with Mrs. Marlatt and reading about the Foundation online, it sounded like an interesting program. At the time I had no idea of all the opportunities it would bring me in the future.”
For her local experience, Amanda worked in the Groner Foundation Office on campus as a Communication Assistant for two hours a week during the fall semester. During this upcoming spring semester, she will work at the Gordon Community Center in downtown Lake Forest for four hours each week. In this role, she will assist with administrative tasks and also help supervise children in the center’s day care.
While Amanda enjoys serving the local community, her international summer service trip was “by far the coolest experience.” For this trip, Amanda spent seven and a half weeks at the Monteverde Institute in Costa Rica and served as a Sustainable Landscaping Intern. “I learned about native plans in Costa Rica, designed a landscape, and in the end actually constructed the landscape,” explained Amanda.
Amanda is excited to continue preparing for her career through real world experiences made possible by the Groner Foundation.