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Lugar Leadership Award goes to Lake Station senior


Student to meet former senator Dec. 3 at annual UIndy symposium

Thomas A. Edison Jr. Sr. High School student Drake Abramson has been selected to receive this year’s Richard G. Lugar Distinguished Student Leadership Award, presented annually to an Indiana high school senior by the Lugar Academy at the University of Indianapolis.

A varsity wrestling and football player and state-level student council representative, Drake will meet the former senator and Nobel Prize nominee Dec. 3 during the 40th annual Richard G. Lugar Symposium for Tomorrow’s Leaders at the University of Indianapolis. The event enables top high school juniors from around the state to hear a keynote address from Lugar on world events and to join in expert-led group discussions on pressing public issues.

Drake was among hundreds of Indiana students who attended last year’s symposium and were invited to apply for the leadership award, which includes a $1,000 award. The recipient must have a minimum 3.0 cumulative GPA and demonstrate leadership skill and a commitment to serving others. He was nominated for the award by his football coach and teacher, Timothy McCormick.

“Drake is a great leader and possesses characteristics well beyond his years,” McCormick said in his nomination letter. “He is well respected by his peers and is a student who is counted on when needed.” Recognized for leadership and service throughout his high school career, Drake is a member of the National Honor Society, president of the Booster Club, and involved in pep band and class council. He was elected at the state level as the Northwest District Representative for ninth and tenth grade.

Drake also distinguished himself as a community volunteer and advocate to raise awareness about epilepsy. Among other efforts, he founded a nonprofit foundation, ThinkBrave, to award health-challenged students in his community with a $500 scholarship. To date, he has given four scholarships. He also created an initiative called Sack Seizures to bring epilepsy awareness and seizure education to the high school football community. He has met with legislators in Indianapolis and Washington, D.C., to help them understand the needs of the epilepsy community and spoke on the Indiana Senate floor in 2015.

More information on the Richard G. Lugar Academy and the Lugar Symposium for Tomorrow’s Leaders is available at