Here is a good example of something good coming from Rockford.

The Forest city's own piano prodigy, Emily Bear, made history with the Order of Lincoln award.

WGN shares that Emily received the Order of Lincoln award over the weekend. This award is given as the "highest honor for professional achievement and public service."

Emily and seven other Illinois individuals received this award in recognition of their accomplishments. She made history with it because she is "the youngest person ever in 54 years to win this award."

What did Emily have to say about receiving such an high honor?

“Being held to the standard of Lincoln is about as hard as it gets for a 16-year-old," she said, "but I can definitely connect with this quote by Mr. Lincoln: ‘It is not the years in your life that count; it is the life in your years.’”(Northern Public Radio)

Now that is really awesome.

Congratulations Emily!

Others that were honored were:

  • Pro Football Hall-of-Famer Dick Butkus
  • YouTube founder Steven Shih Chen
  • Scholar, author and educator The Rev. Michael J. Garanzini, S.J.
  • Ariel Investments President and After School Matters Chair Mellody Hobson
  • National agribusiness leader Edward L. McMillan
  • World-renowned diabetes authority Dr. Louis Philipson
  • Bergstrom Inc. Chairman and Rockford native David Rydell

So what's next for Emily. After composing and performing "everything from symphonies, to film scores to jazz albums,  Emily is taking a stab at a crossover career that even she could not have imagined."

Yep she's looking into the Pop music world.

And to think she's only 16!


You go girl.

All of Rockford is proud of you and we're rooting for you!


Here's a clip of Emily's journey with her beautiful gift of playing the piano.









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