Student Wins Humanitarian Award
Aliza Gilbert, a doctoral candidate in Loyola University Chicago’s Higher Education program, was recently awarded the 2015 Humanitarian Award. This award is sponsored and presented by the Highland Park Human Relations Commission to an individual who has “rendered outstanding service to the Highland Park community ... and has through his/her efforts made a significant contribution to changing lives in Highland Park,” according to the city’s website. The award has been presented annually since 1996.
Aliza’s commitment to helping high school students pursue their higher education goals was a key part in earning her the award nomination. As a college counselor at Highland Park High School for the last 17 years, Aliza has helped thousands of students. She believes, “We are all members of a global society, and as members of that society we are better served when our citizens are educated.” With an eye toward supporting that philosophy, Aliza has worked hard to guide students through the challenging process of applying for college and for scholarship opportunities. She also takes care to address the particular needs of the undocumented students who come to her for help, since the process is much more difficult for them and those students often feel deterred from applying. Aliza has challenged college admissions directors to revise their applications to help make the process smoother for undocumented students.
Aliza is heavily involved with a number of professional organizations, including the Illinois Associations for College Admission Counseling, and the National Association for College Admission Counseling, on which she currently serves as Chair of the Committee for Inclusion, Access and Success.