“This project provided valuable training hours for the welding students,” explained Jennifer Billingsley, dean of the Lake Land College correctional programs. “The students crafted the project from beginning to end, first creating blueprints for the customer and then building the product, using their welding skills. Projects like this give students in the correctional centers a sense of pride because they are making a positive contribution to a community in need.”
According to Karen Kull, Strasburg resident and SCAN member, the shooting stars crafted by the students will light up the streets and the faces of the citizens of the Village of Strasburg.
“We will display the shooting stars throughout the village and they will be a beautiful addition to the streets during the winter season,” said Kull. “The partnership between Lake Land College, the Illinois Department of Corrections and SCAN has created a project that the welding students and the citizens of the Village of Strasburg can enjoy for years to come.”
“This project enriches the lives of our students demonstrating that when they make smart decisions and work toward an education, they improve their own lives and enrich the lives of others in their communities” said Peggy Blair, associate dean of educational programs at Sheridan. “I also received positive feedback from the members of Village of Strasburg board who were enthusiastic, compassionate, and delighted to interact with our students as they expressed their gratitude to be included in this project. This project exemplifies the values of Lake Land College and was an enriching experience for all involved.”
SCAN is a volunteer organization whose goal is to promote economic development for low income citizens for the Village of Strasburg.
The Illinois Department of Corrections operates 25 prisons throughout Illinois and the agency is committed to operating a safe and secure prison system with successful reentry of inmates into society, which helps reduce recidivism. Lake Land College provides educational opportunities like the Welding Technology Program to 17 correctional centers throughout the state. Other programs include horticulture, food services,warehouse logistics and career technology.
“It is important that Sheridan Correctional Center has partnered with Lake Land College to support local programs, like the Shooting Star program,” said Darryl Coleman, assistant warden at the Sheridan Correctional Center. “It gives the Sheridan offender population an opportunity to give back to the communities in which we are a part. The welding students have worked hard on the shooting star project all summer and are proud of their finished work. The administration and staff at Sheridan Correctional Center are proud to be a part of this project and look forward to the continued partnership.”
To learn more about the educational classes offered in the Department of Corrections through Lake Land College, contact Billingsley at (217) 540-3588.