Eliane Lakam is a dynamic student leader at Prince George's Community College who was recently recognized with the 2015 Adel Zimmerman Memorial Student Volunteer of Year Award. As an orphan who overcame many obstacles, she has demonstrated a passion and commitment to addressing issues of poverty and homelessness in the community. For the past two years, Eliane served as a Court Appointed Special Advocate (CASA) for foster children in Prince George's County. She is also a member of the President's Interfaith and Community Service Campus Challenge Committee and Phi Theta Kappa International Honor Society. Additionally, she assisted in organizing and participating in numerous community service projects including a Holiday Gift Drive for foster children, a Hunger Banquet, One Night Without a Home Simulation Fundraiser, Walk Now for Autism, Martin Luther King Jr. National Day of Service projects and many more. Eliane possesses the characteristics of a passionate and empathetic leader who is an inspiration to others and the youth that she serves in the community.
My upbringing and personal life experience fueled my passion for service, social justice, and humanitarian concerns. Growing up in exceptionally difficult conditions is what enabled me to understand how crucial it is to assist those in need. This understanding has been very pivotal in fostering all the initiatives I have taken so far to address issues related to poverty, homelessness, hunger, and human rights violations. The purpose of life, I strongly believe, is to make the world a better place. It is with that belief that I decided to dedicate 20 hours of my time each month to Court Appointed Special Advocate (CASA), where I advocate for children who have been removed from their families because of abuse, abandonment, or loss of their parent(s). For two consecutive years, I have also partnered with students, faculty, and staff at my college to organize a holiday gift drive that benefited more than 350 foster care children in Prince George's county. In addition to serving meals in soup kitchens, I have volunteered with Catholic Charities and other non-profit organizations. I have completed over 400 hours of community service during my enrollment at Prince George's Community College, but my thirst to help remains insatiable.