LEWISTON — Courtney Allen, of Augusta, a student at the University of Maine at Augusta, was one of six Maine higher education students to receive Maine Campus Compact’s statewide Heart and Soul Student Award on April 24 at the University of Southern Maine Lewiston-Auburn College.

Each year, Maine Campus Compact recognizes up to six college students who are actively involved in transforming their campuses and communities into environments of civic engagement. These students have developed positive community and campus change, and have worked to institutionalize their community projects.

They have implemented innovative approaches to social, educational, environmental, health, economic and legal issues facing their communities and demonstrated leadership through their successful involvement of others on campus and in the community, according to a news release from Tom Gallant, AmeriCorps VISTA leader, Maine Campus Compact, Lewiston.

Allen has used her personal journey of recovery to guide both her academic and community efforts. She holds the title of treasurer of the Mental Health and Human Services Club at UMA, is a chapter leader of Young People in Recovery, and a TRiO Peer Coach at UMA.

In the local community, her efforts with Substance Use Disorder Recovery earned her a place on the board of a local nonprofit, a collaborator on legislative policy, and a court mentor for community members affected by the disorder. Allen also is the founder and current director of James Place Recovery Housing.

She founded James Place, a nonprofit dedicated to providing people in recovery safe, low-barrier housing, in March 2018. Since its establishment, James Place has grown from three beds to 10, and she plans to sustain the organization by passing on the position of director as she moves on to graduate school.

As an interdisciplinary major at the University of Maine at Augusta, Allen’s academic focus on public policy, justice, and mental health is closely aligned with her work in the community, according to the release.

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