CRCJ Student Summer Hill-Lechnowsky Wins Louise Coe Spire Memorial Scholarship
Summer Hill-Lechnowsky, a UNO junior majoring in criminology and criminal justice, was recently awarded the Louise Coe Spire Memorial Scholarship in recognition of her high academic achievements and commitment to community service.
Hill-Lechnowsky, who grow up in Bellevue, Nebraska and graduated from Bellevue East High School, has volunteered with several nonprofit organizations over the years and is particularly drawn to organizations that focus on children. She serves as a tutor at the Boys and Girls Club, helping children with their homework and offering words of encouragement. Hill-Lechnowsky has also spent countless hours volunteering at her church’s Vacation Bible School where she teaches youth about responsibility, integrity and developing other positive qualities. She has also been active in the Kids Against Hunger organization for several years, joining others as they pack up rice, vegetables and other canned foods which are shipped overseas to families in need.
Hill-Lechnowsky has aspired to work in the criminal justice field since she was 16 years old. With just the rest of this semester and two additional semesters of course work ahead of her, she is close to earning her bachelor’s degree. Once she has that degree in hand, she plans to pursue a career as either a juvenile probation officer, crime scene investigator, detective, or medical examiner. Regardless of which career path she chooses, she plans to continue volunteering with youth in her community, which will be one way to honor the legacy of Louise Spire.
Louise Spire, for whom the Louise Coe Spire Memorial Scholarship was established, passed away in December of 2007. Her two sisters, Jessie and Ruth, established the scholarship in her honor. Louise earned a master’s degree in social work from UNO and devoted her life’s work to helping families and children. She worked at a variety of Omaha-based institutions such as Head Start, Uta Halee Girls Village, Richard Young Hospital, Douglas County, and the Child Saving Institute. It is fitting that Summer Hill-Lechnowsky was named this year’s recipient of the Louise Coe Spire Memorial Scholarship. Both women have answered the call to serve others and the positive impact each has had has been profound.
Published October 2017