The Pantagraph has chosen to honor our very own Katie Pratt ‘16 for one of this year’s 20 under 40 Awards! The 20 under 40 Award is given to young professionals in Mclean County who have shown devotion to their career and their community. (Note: this award was also given to alumni Allegra Thigpen ‘16 and Nikki Gibson ‘15; look for their features in upcoming MCLP Newsletters!) Katie is a Communication Specialist for the University College at Illinois State University, a department that focuses on support services for their students like orientation, advising, and tutoring. Katie’s focus is to communicate these services to their students by means of various platforms including their website, social media, and printed materials.
As Katie is a graduate of MCLP, leadership has been an important part of her life. When asked how she pursues leadership in her current work environment, she says through flexibility, “in working with others, prioritizing needs, and adjusting how we do things to meet the overall goal.” Since graduating from ISU and MCLP, Katie has also been involved throughout Bloomington-Normal in organizations such as: For a Better Tomorrow, Crossroads Handcrafts of the World, West Bloomington Revitalization Project, Multicultural Leadership Program, the League of Women Voters of McLean County, STAR Adult Literacy program, and GreenTop Grocery’s outreach committee. Katie is a true leader in our community, and one thing that inspired her to pursue her leadership journey was her time at MCLP.
Katie describes MCLP as “a 9-month journey that also flies by in the blink of an eye.” Through this experience, she not only gained leadership skills, but she became more invested in the Bloomington-Normal community. This city is ultimately where Katie found her home. Due to her devoted leadership in and service to this city, Katie Pratt has been awarded the Pantagraph’s 20 Under 40 Award. When asked about how she feels in regards to winning this award, it is best to use Katie’s own words:
“It’s an honor to be a 2019 recipient of this award. Honestly it really hasn’t hit me. This award has been given out to so many community leaders for decades and to join their ranks is humbling. When I came to the area as an ISU student 13 years ago, I never once thought that this is where I’d be. I learned early on in my college career that you have to be flexible with your life plans to reap the most.”
It is an honor to have Katie Pratt as a member of our community; it truly is a better place with her in it, and we are so excited to see what her future holds.