2016 – Amanda Insalaco

Amanda Insalaco, the 2016 CBF Abraham Lincoln Marovitz Scholarship recipient, has demonstrated an impressive commitment to public service and civic engagement, while distinguishing herself academically. At Northern Illinois University, Amanda studied Community Leadership and Civic Engagement, an interdisciplinary major that emphasizes public service, nonprofit management, and advocacy. Not only was she the first in her family to attend college, but she also graduated summa cum laude and received a number of awards and accolades as an undergraduate. In addition to receiving NIU’s Outstanding Women Award and the Dean’s Award, Amanda was also a finalist for the Lincoln Student Laureate Award, the most prestigious undergraduate honor in Illinois.

Most recently, Amanda completed a year-long, full-time position as a Fellow with the Illinois JusticeCorps at the Knox County Courthouse in Galesburg. This innovative program recruits and trains students and recent college graduates to serve as guides to make courts across Illinois more welcoming and less intimidating for people without lawyers. As a JusticeCorps Fellow, Amanda served as a docent for people without lawyers by helping them find their way around the courthouse and providing them with procedural and navigational assistance. Amanda has observed first-hand the barriers to the justice system that people without lawyers face when they come to court on their own and her experiences have inspired her to dedicate her legal career to making our justice system more fair and efficient for everyone.

Amanda’s choice of volunteer opportunities during and after college further underscores her passion for public and community service. For example, when she was working full-time at Illinois JusticeCorps, Amanda completed the 40-hour domestic violence training and received certification through a local domestic violence agency, Safe Harbor. She was able to use her training to help domestic violence survivors file Orders of Protection. She also volunteered with the food pantry in Galesburg and as a Live Help operator with Illinois Legal Aid Online.

In the fall of 2016, Amanda began her studies at DePaul University College of Law. She selected DePaul because of the school’s comprehensive public service offerings, which support her deep commitment to public service and desire to dedicate her legal career to making the justice system work better for everyone, regardless of income.