L&C’s College for Life students with YouthBuild AmeriCorps show off the new wheelchair-accessible seating outside Fobes Hall. JARED SMILACK/L&C Marketing & PR
L&C’s College for Life students with YouthBuild AmeriCorps show off the new wheelchair-accessible seating outside Fobes Hall. JARED SMILACK/L&C Marketing & PR

GODFREY – Lewis and Clark Community College’s Godfrey Campus just became a little more accessible – thanks to the gift of several new picnic tables created by Building Futures YouthBuild AmeriCorps students.

YouthBuild donated the handmade wheelchair-accessible picnic tables, as well as benches and a brand-new coffee cart for College for Life’s (CFL) Coffee for Life stand. The new outdoor furniture is located on the great lawn outside of Fobes Hall.

CFL Program Coordinator Roselyn Ellington said students and visitors can use this space to enjoy the campus grounds.

Associate Dean of Adult Education Val Harris and Adult Education Director of Pathways Sabrina Davis approached Ellington about a collaboration between CFL and YouthBuild students. They asked what items CFL would benefit from, and Ellington sent them a list. YouthBuild built everything on the list and more.

“The students have some accessibility needs,” Ellington said. “The benches and picnic tables will help them enjoy being outside on the beautiful campus. Having a picnic table that was accessible was really important to us so that all the students could come out and have lunch together.”

As AmeriCorps members, YouthBuild students complete 450 hours of service per year. Building this furniture for CFL was one of their service projects. Davis said serving another department within the college and other students was a wonderful opportunity for the program.

“Our YouthBuild students are always looking at social enterprises for themselves, and when they saw that CFL students were doing that through their Coffee for Life stand, they really wanted to help them with it,” Davis said. “They know how exciting it is to be a part of something like that.”

The YouthBuild AmeriCorps program is designed to serve out-of-school youth, 16–24 years of age. YouthBuild is a unique contextualized career pathway program designed to prepare young adults to complete their Illinois High School Diploma while gaining skills in construction (carpentry, solar installation, welding), transportation, distribution and logistics (warehousing, forklift, CDL), computer careers or Certified Nurses Assistance (CNA).

YouthBuild functions as an AmeriCorps network affiliate member. The AmeriCorps component of YouthBuild provides students with leadership opportunities while earning money for education and developing an appreciation for citizenship through service learning activities within the community.

L&C's College For Life (CFL) program is designed for students who have had few inclusive experiences in high school. The program provides non-credit courses designed to engage and entertain students while growing their self-advocacy skills and providing socialization in a post-secondary setting.

Students in the program have the opportunity for full inclusion on campus, with access to the library, dining services, computer labs, etc., as well as student events and activities.

For more information on Adult Education and YouthBuild AmeriCorps at L&C’s Scott Bibb Center, visit https://www.lc.edu/academic-programs/high-school-diploma/youthbuild.html.

For more information on the L&C College for Life program, visit https://www.lc.edu/academic-programs/college-for-life.html.

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