Ines Amenabar ’11 (Guatemala City, Guatemala) is the recipient of the 2011 George Wharton Pepper Prize, awarded annually to the senior “who most nearly represents the Lafayette ideal.”
The prize was established in 1923 by George Wharton Pepper H’22, a U.S. Senator from Pennsylvania, attorney, and founding member of the Pennsylvania Bar Association. In his gift, Pepper noted that the “ideal” Lafayette student combines a “sound academic record” with “noteworthy participation in College activities and student life.”
“Lafayette was the perfect fit for me,” says Amenabar. “Every student has the opportunity to create their own Lafayette experience, and I have paved my own path by doing things I love.”
A double major in economics and government & law, Amenabar was one of 12 finalists for the Pepper Prize. She was chosen through a vote of the student body and faculty, and will speak at Lafayette’s 176th Commencement Saturday, May 21.
Much of Amenabar’s academic and service work has dealt with community and economic development, an area which she plans to pursue in graduate school.
Last summer through the IES Abroad International Honors Program, Amenabar traveled to India, South Africa, and Argentina to study growth and development of cities by examining overpopulation, environmental degradation, housing, equality, education, and health issues.
For the last four years, she has served as a volunteer and medical translator for philanthropic medical missions in rural Guatemalan villages as part of HELPS International, a nonprofit organization working to alleviate poverty in Latin America.
She also worked as an intern for Euro RSCG Life, an international healthcare and pharmaceutical marketing agency. She helped develop a social media initiative called “Hope Brigade” to advocate awareness for wounded soldiers of the Iraq and Afghanistan wars.
She has been elected to Pi Sigma Alpha international political science honors society, the Omicron Delta Epsilon international economics honors society, and the Phi Beta Kappa national honors society. Lafayette has awarded her the Robert F. Hunsicker Educational Prize, which recognizes meritorious work in the area of small-business studies.
Amenabar serves as head resident adviser overseeing Greek residential areas; was president of Hispanic Society of Lafayette, a peer tutor for Spanish, and a laboratory assistant for foreign languages and literatures; and is a member of the International Student Association, the Lafayette Dance Team, and Synchomotion dance club.
She volunteers for the Landis Community Outreach Center’s Kids in the Community and Literacy Day programs, and helped found Resources for Independence and Social Entrepreneurship, a community outreach program that provides local teenagers with microloans in order to design, launch, and maintain small business ideas.