Guided by her unwavering ambitiousness, junior Lucy Allen has truly embodied her personal philosophy that students should strive to make the most of every opportunity they are given. Her long standing sense of initiative and drive, both in the classroom and beyond, has helped her establish herself as a leader in the SUNY Plattsburgh community.
Allen has called Plattsburgh home since her childhood. She fondly recalled finding comfort and company in her numerous pets—a diverse group that included, among others, a jack russell terrier named Henry as well as multiple cats.
High school was a turning point for Allen. While attending Plattsburgh High School, she developed a deeper sense of understanding of herself and where she wanted to be headed in life.
“It was a really pivotal moment for me,” Allen said. “I really came out of my shell and became a lot more confident. I was the class president, and that role helped me realize that I enjoy leadership.”
Allen considered heading somewhere outside Plattsburgh for college but in the end decided to stay closer to home. She said that there is something quite remarkable about going to college near where you grew up—all the thrills and excitement of university life, but also a certain sense of comfort.
“It’s like being at home, but not at home at the same time,” Allen said. “It really is a special feeling.”
Although she is in her second year of college, Allen is technically a junior and expects to graduate next year. Throughout high school, she earned numerous college credits from advanced placement courses and through Clinton Community College. She said this gave her quite an edge in terms of college academics and graduating early, and she would strongly encourage other students to take advantage of such opportunities as well.
Allen is double majoring in political science and Latin American studies as well as a minor in Spanish. Though such a workload often proves quite demanding, she embraced the challenge with open arms and does not shy away from her goals.
“The decision to study political science was an easy one, actually,” Allen said. “My family has always been very politically aware and active. I grew up watching the news regularly and learned about politics even as a kid. So when this major was recommended to me, I knew it was absolutely perfect.”
Allen’s interest in politics has proven to be a vehicle for action beyond the classroom throughout high school and college. From interning for the New York State Senate campaigns of Tedra Cobb and Mike Derrick to working with Amnesty International to write letters to political prisoners and activists across the globe, it is clear that Allen has made political engagement a priority for herself. Some of the issues that matter the most to her include racial justice, climate change and poverty alleviation.
Her second major in Latin American studies has also proven quite eventful.
“It’s a very diplomatically-centered field of study,” Allen said. “Recently, we were interviewing actual international ambassadors. That’s honestly kind of crazy.”
Another exciting aspect of Latin American studies is that each student may participate in an internship in Washington, D.C., as part of the major. Allen is certain that she will avail this opportunity and is currently exploring internships with Partners of the Americas, the National Defense University Foundation, the American Academy of Diplomacy, and other organizations with a like-minded mission.
Allen’s engagement with the student body through various activities has become an important part of her life. She is currently part of the Legislative Review Board, the Rotaract Club and the Honor Students Association. Some of the highlights of her experience with the Rotaract Club include participating in a fundraiser for polio research and treatment, volunteering to help children trick-or-treat safely during Halloween, and attending a conference in Ottawa early 2020.
“The Legislative Review Board, too, is another activity I’m very proud to be a part of,” Allen said. “The work we do is integral to the Plattsburgh community. I was actually surprised to learn just how essential LRB really is.”
When asked about her future educational and professional plans, she laughed.
“If you had asked me that a few years ago, I would’ve given you the whole spiel about where I want to be ten years from now,” said Allen. “But right now I want to focus on things one by one and have my foot in different doors.”
What she knows for sure is that she wants to continue being politically active, have a diversified skill set and also experience different cultures and expand her knowledge of the world by traveling.
“I’m going to focus more on learning and being myself,” Allen said. “I don’t want to stress out so much about where I want to be that I forget where I am right now.”