Kishwaukee College and Opportunity House Inc. held a commencement ceremony on Nov. 4 to honor Opportunity House clients who completed the Learning for Life I, Learning for Life II and Learning for Life III programs.
Graduates from the program were presented with either a certificate, medal or plaque signifying the level they completed and recognizing their accomplishment and hard work. The Learning for Life program celebrates its 10-year anniversary this year.
Receiving a Certificate of Completion for Learning for Life I were Ashtion Atkins, Lolita Bennett, Carol Chmielewski, David Nerge, Adam Nimerfroh, Salvatore Siciliano and Angela Waters.
Receiving a Medal of Completion for Learning for Life II were William Berkheimer, Laura Bosshardt, Joanna King, Diane Ostrom, Matthew Rowan and Sandra Walker.
Receiving a Plaque of Completion for Learning for Life III were Sheila Buchholz, Alice Craig, Mary Guild, Sara Killey and Jason Meyers.
The graduates and their guests were welcomed to the college by Kish President Laurie Borowicz and Robert Shipman, executive director of Opportunity House Inc., who offered congratulatory remarks. The National Anthem was sung by Brian Perkin, maintenance staff at Kish. Learning for Life developer and instructor Carla Raynor delivered the commencement address and called the candidates. Borowicz presented each graduate with their certificate, medal or plaque.
To complete each level in the Learning for Life program, Opportunity House clients must complete a designated number of core and elective classes. Each level in the program takes approximately two years to complete. Additionally, Level III students must complete a service project or designated community volunteer hours as part of the curriculum requirements.
Opportunity House, located in Sycamore and serving DeKalb County, assists people with intellectual and developmental disabilities with workforce training, living in homes of their choice and enjoying community life. Learning for Life developed out of interest from local community members who wanted educational opportunities for their adult children who had completed high school and life school but wanted to continue their education.
Beginning with one Animals class, interest grew amongst Opportunity House clients for more learning opportunities. In 2009, the program officially began with the curriculum being developed from student interest and class requests. Similar to obtaining any other certificate or degree, students choose the classes they take to fulfill program requirements. Subjects include math, science, art, culture, history, personal-social development and technology, among other subjects.
There have been 93 total graduates since the first Learning for Life commencement held in 2011.
Funding for Learning for Life is provided by the Kishwaukee College Foundation through the Douglas C. & Lynn M. Roberts Family Foundation and The Francis Meyer Charitable Trust. Opportunities to contribute to the Learning for Life endowment are available. Contact the Kish Foundation at 815-825-9803 for more information.
For information on the Learning for Life program, contact developer and instructor Carla Raynor at firstname.lastname@example.org or call Opportunity House at 815-895-5108, ext. 152.