February 27, 2023 – Yesterday, Collinsville High School senior Lillie Cuddeback was among 42 area student leaders recognized by Belleville Illinois’ Center for Racial Harmony at their annual Gathering to “celebrate [youth] making a difference in their homes, schools and communities.”
The honorees were recognized “…for promoting goodwill, peace, and harmony.” The Center for Racial Harmony is an organization dedicated to promoting understanding, cooperation, and communication among all races and ethnic groups. The Racial Harmony Gathering honors students who have promoted goodwill and respect, and have sought peaceful ways to resolve differences.
Area K-12 educators were invited to nominate a student from their school to be recognized at The Gathering. Lillie Cuddeback was nominated by CHS teacher and Multicultural Kahoks sponsor Barbara Lindauer.
In her nomination, Ms. Lindauer wrote:
Lillie is known by both the staff and students at CHS to be of a responsible, dedicated and caring nature. Lillie ranks at the top of all the students I have taught in my thirty year career as a teacher. She is always in a fabulous frame of mind and ready to lend a helping hand. Her wonderful attitude is contagious and helps set the mood and atmosphere for all those around her. It’s students like Lillie that make me optimistic the future of our country is moving closer to true racial harmony.
Lillie is the president of the Multicultural Kahoks which promotes diversity. She hosted the school’s annual Mr. Homecoming Pageant in the fall. Mr. Homecoming features students who represent various school clubs, and raises money to purchase items for Collinsville-area community members in need. She is also chair of the club’s 3v3 basketball tournament for charity.
She has worked to promote diversity and tolerance in the school by spearheading a project for Black History Month that recognized the accomplishments of African American alumni of Collinsville High School.
“Lillie is always working on ways to help her classmates feel accepted which has led to her planning a celebration for Arab American History month this April,” said Lindauer, “Lillie recognizes her privilege and uses it to collectively empower others.”
In addition to the Multicultural Club, Lillie is also a member of the student council. Lillie maintains excellent grades, making her eligible for the Rho Kappa Honor Society and the CHS Honor Roll. She is captain of her lacrosse team and will continue her athletic career at Missouri Baptist University in the fall of 2023. Lillie also volunteers with St. Clair County Teen Court and Heartlinks Grief Center.
Center for Racial Harmony in St. Clair County is a not–for–profit 501(C) (3) community organization dedicated to making a difference through mediation, teaching, training and cooperative learning.