GODFREY – For the first time since 2019, Lewis and Clark Community College’s Adult Education program was able to hold its commencement in person, June 9, in the Hatheway Cultural Center in Godfrey.
For Associate Dean of Adult Education Val Harris, this year’s ceremony was particularly poignant.
“This is my favorite event each year because these students found the courage to give education another try and succeed,” she said. “Like the rest of the world, we have all been through strange times the past two-plus years. Our students’ success is always meaningful; and this year is even more impressive as they have navigated virtual classes, COVID-19 testing, cancelled classes – and they persevered. I couldn’t be more proud.”
Illinois Community College Board (ICCB) Senior Director for Adult Education and Literacy Kathy Olesen-Tracey was this year’s key-note speaker. She recognized the number of award-winning students L&C’s Adult Education program has produced over the years and encouraged this year’s graduates to seize opportunities.
“You’ve already seized the opportunity this educational program provides you,” she said. “It’s time to take the next step and move forward.”
Student speaker George Brewer, an L&C Adult Education success story, advised the graduates to put thought into who they want to be and what they want to do.
“I believe that service work and helping other people is absolutely necessary in life,” he said. “There’s always going to be bills and there’s always going to be challenges and hurdles in life, but life is sweeter than that.”
Graduate Jarrius Burton, a previous student ambassador, expressed the joy he felt after completing his GED.
“Earning my GED makes me feel like I can conquer the world,” he said. “Believe in yourself and surround yourself by people who want to see you succeed. Failing is part of life, but as long as you keep going and stay positive, things will work in your favor.”
Learn more about L&C’s Adult Education division and the programs it offers by calling (618) 468-4141 or visit www.le.edu/adulted.