Governor J.B. Pritzker recognized two LLCC students during his budget address yesterday, Feb. 19. Brandon Ihlenfeldt is an HVAC student after completing coursework and his GED through LLCC Adult Education. Lauren Hernandez is a student in the associate degree nursing program. Both are MAP grant recipients. After the address, Lauren was interviewed by the State Journal-Register, and both are being interviewed for an upcoming story in the Illinois Times. Dr. Charlotte Warren, president, accompanied the students to the Illinois State Capitol for the Governor’s address. They are pictured with Dr. Brian Durham, executive director, Illinois Community College Board.
The Governor said, “Today we have two students here whose families and communities will be stronger thanks to their hard work and our investments in MAP grants. They personify exactly why we need to set aside MAP funding especially for community college students. Lincoln Land Community College here in Springfield is lucky to count them among their student body.
“When Lauren Hernandez was 12, her 6-year-old sister was diagnosed with cancer. After watching how hard the nurses worked to help her sister every day, she felt drawn to the healthcare profession. When her sister passed away a few years later, it cemented Lauren’s conviction to become a nurse. Today, Lauren is married and the mother of a beautiful baby boy and MAP grants are covering the portion of her tuition that she couldn’t afford. She is the first person in her family to attend college. She’s working overnight shifts at St. Francis Hospital. And she’s why our future as a state is so bright. Please give Lauren a round of applause for her hard work and commitment.
“I also want to introduce you all to Brandon Ihlenfeldt, who earned his GED at Lincoln Land and is in the final semester of his H-VAC program. He’ll graduate this spring with a degree and the ability to do work that he loves. Brandon is also a husband and a father, and after a full day at work at Illinois National Bank and a full evening at school, he finds time to spend with his family. But he knows that an education is the key to being able to get a good job to support them. Without MAP grants, he would’ve had to take on loans and debt, with two young children. For Brandon, this is an opportunity he wouldn’t have had otherwise; and it’s an opportunity you all made possible by expanding the MAP grant program. Please give a round of applause to a great family man and a hard worker, Brandon Ihlenfeldt.
“There is no more critical investment we can make in the future of our state than in our bright and ambitious young people, like Azriel, Lauren and Brandon.”
Candace Silas, program navigator, Open Door – Workforce Equity Initiative, was interviewed on WTAX and WLDS radio stations Feb. 17 about the 20 openings in the initiative. Students are being sought to fill spots in truck driver training, CNA, EMT and central sterile service technician. Free tuition, a stipend, child care and transportation costs are included. Interested students should email email@example.com or firstname.lastname@example.org or visit www.llcc.edu/open-door-wei. The initiative aims to increase workplace equity and is open to low income and minority students.
Travis McCullough, president of the LLCC Black Student Union, was interviewed Feb. 17 by the State Journal Register on the importance of first time voters taking part in the upcoming elections. The BSU is sponsoring a voter registration drive Feb. 24.
LLCC is seeking 20 additional students for its Open Door Workforce Equity Initiative program, which provides free career training in highly skilled, in-demand occupations.
The purpose of the initiative is to provide minority and low income individuals with short-term career training that will lead to employment locally in less than a year. The effort aims to improve workforce equity and address identified workforce gaps in local communities.
“Currently, we have openings for 20 individuals to be spread among our truck driver training, emergency medical technician (EMT), central sterile service technician, and nurse assistant (CNA) programs,” said Michael Phelon, director of the Open Door program. “Participants will receive free tuition, a stipend, transportation assistance, child care assistance and other supports so they can train for employment in these occupations.”
LLCC student Travis McCullough, president of the LLCC Black Student Union, was interviewed by WICS TV news Feb. 7 regarding the HIV/AIDS awareness and testing event in A. Lincoln Commons as part of the African-American History Month observance.
Matt Vespa, professor of mathematics, interviewed with the Jacksonville Journal Courier and WLDS about the regional Academic Challenge held at LLCC on Feb. 4. Approximately 280 students from 18 area high schools participated in the event. Students competed as individuals and as teams, testing in their choice of two of these subjects – biology, chemistry, computer science, engineering graphics, English, mathematics and physics.