La’Rie Suttle, 23, spent about two years in the Illinois foster care system.

La’Rie entered care at eight months old. Two years later she was adopted by her relatives.

La’Rie has served her community and been honored for doing so multiple times. To start, DCFS granted La’Rie a Scholarship in 2014-2015 for outstanding academic achievement after being accepted to 20 colleges and universities across the United States and offered a Posse Scholarship to Agnes Scott College. Last, La’Rie served as a Horary Page for the 99th General Assembly (House of Representatives of Illinois) in August 2015 after working as a paid Legislative Intern for an Illinois State Representative.

In 2016, La’Rie had students travel with her to Flint, MI with the Uniting Communities in America organization in Chicago. When she was there, she distributed bottled water cases, nursery water, and diapers. And directed many residents of the area to contact other free government services for water and spoke to the residents and city councilman about political ideas on government assistance.

In July 2016, Illinois State University’s Politics and Government Department selected La’Rie to volunteer at the Democratic National Committee in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. There, she authorized visitors with security credentials to enter seating for the 2016 DNC. She also networked with several delegates, councilmen, political media outlets, legislators, senators, business owners, and residents of Philadelphia. And clarified any last-minute questions people had about the 2016 DNC and local Politico-Fest in PA.

La’Rie served as a volunteer note-taker for a peer in multiple courses at ISU. Her duty was to complete notes from the course’s lectures and share them with the paired student, suggest key points for the student to study and understand further for future quizzes, activities, and exams. In June 2017, La’Rie served as a student ambassador to the Dean of Students on behalf of ISU and the American Democracy Project. In doing so, she had traveled to Baltimore, Maryland and exchanged campus ideas for over 250 colleges and universities across the country interested in innovating strategic plans related to civic learning and democratic engagement efforts. She also collaborated with hundreds of students and academic professionals from all over the country by engaging in plenary sessions, informative general interest sessions, interactive workshops, research and program-based poster sessions, roundtable discussions, and informal expert-led forums. From June 25 through July 2, 2017, La’Rie attended an Independent Civic Learning Study in Washington D.C. on behalf of the American Democracy Project and ISU’s Politics and Government Department. While there, she spoke with multiple elected officials, lobbyists, and advocacy groups (including NGOs).

La’Rie earned her B.S. in Political Science and minored in Women’s and Gender Studies and Sociology from Illinois State University. She is also thinking about attending law school in the near future. La’Rie is a leader in her community. She is a member of the Economic Committee at the South Shore Chamber of Commerce; a Board Member of Illinois Caucus for Adolescent Health (ICAH) serving on the Self-Care Committee; Alumna of the Inaugural Chicago200 Legacy Program; Alumna of the 2019 NAACP NEXTGEN Leadership Development Program; and Assistant to the Chair of the Criminal Justice Committee at the Chicago-Southside NAACP Unit.

In her free time, La’Rie enjoys traveling and reading. One day she would like to become an elected official of the country, whether it be as a Senator or the President. La’Rie wants to use her power and her degrees to bring about positive, multi-generational changes to the country.

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