Danara Barlow ’15 was named the first recipient of the Margaret Youel Award during Honors Day in May at North Central College. A transfer student and resident of Wheaton, Danara majored in psychology.
This award was established at last year’s Commencement in honor of Margaret “Maggie” Youel who suffered a stroke, requiring a lengthy hospital stay and extensive therapy during her sophomore year at North Central. The award honors her perseverance, tenacity and spirit.
In receiving this special award, Danara has demonstrated determination, leadership, service, perseverance, character and commitment—qualities the Margaret Youel Award esteems.
Having a visual impairment did not stop Danara from participating, excelling and leading in numerous ways. A student worker in the College’s Office of Multicultural Affairs, she served with the Premier Scholars program, as a key participant and organizer for spring break trips, as co-president of the Black Student Association and vice president of the Voices of Praise gospel choir.
In 2014, Danara received North Central’s Mironda K. Heston Grant for Public Service and created Project Better, a program to inspire youth to attend college. The program is focused in Joliet’s Fairview Housing Projects where Danara grew up.
Danara has accepted a position through the Lighthouse for the Blind working at a call center for the University of Illinois at Chicago, while continuing her graduate studies at North Central.