The Hancock-Henderson Quill, Inc.

Meet Your Neighbor

by Jacob Irish, Quill Reporter

Meet Your Neighbor Mary Lewis, born on June 16, 1993 in Maplewood, Minnesota.

Mary lived the majority of her life in Gladstone, now Mary lives with her family in Biggsville.

Mary's parents are Laura Lewis and Kirk Lewis. Laura is an elementary teacher at West Central Elementary School. Laura currently lives in Biggsville. Kirk Lewis lives in Oquawka and works as a truck driver for TMC.

Mary's grandparents are Mike and Betty Lewis from Oquawka and Dick and Mary Snyder from Kansas City, Kansas.

Mary has three brothers; Mike (23), Tom (18), and Andy (18), all of which still live in Henderson County.

Following her graduation from West Central High School in 2011, Mary furthered her education at Illinois College. Mary graduated on May 11, 2015 with a Bachelor of Arts degree in Sociology.

While at West Central Mary participated in Basketball, Volleyball, and band. Mary then continued with music by joining the Illinois College Women's Chorale.

While studying at Illinois College Mary also participated in two mentorship programs. Mary was involved in  Best Buddies, which is an organization that pairs c ollege students up with adults that suffer from intellectual and developmental disabilities.

Mary also participated as a big sister in the  Big Brother Big Sister program while at Illinois College. She spent 4 years with her little sister guiding her through life's struggles.

Mary recently took a job offer as an AmeriCorps: Volunteer in Service to America (VISTA) at the Henderson-Mercer-Warren Regional office of Education as a part of the Community Minds Education Outreach Program.

In the past Mary has had two other jobs. In the summer of 2014 Mary worked as an AmeriCorps VISTA at the Family Outreach Community Center in Stronghurst, IL. While at college Mary worked at Illinois College's Admissions Office as a VIPS caller.

With her past 15 years of life being dominated by homework, Mary has had little time to take on new hobbies, but there are several things that she holds dear to herself. Mary still loves music and enjoys reading when she can find the time.

Mary absolutely, one hundred percent, loves her family. She spoke about how much she enjoys hanging out with her father and grandmother on the weekends, and the tight connection she has with her mother. Mary also adores her younger cousins whom have propelled her towards a future as a social worker serving disadvantaged children.

In the future Mary desires to continue her education by attending Graduate School to get her Masters in Social Work. Following her Graduate Degree, Mary would like to work for an organization that concentrates on helping disadvantaged children.

Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world; indeed, it's the only thing that ever has. -Margaret Mead