Education & Schools
Lincoln's Challenge Cadets Bring Confidence, Hope to Graduation PDF Print E-mail
News Releases - Education & Schools
Written by Illinois National Guard PAO   
Thursday, 13 June 2013 07:34

295 Cadets to Graduate with GED June 15 at Prairie Capital Convention Center in Springfield

SPRINGFIELD, IL (06/12/2013)(readMedia)-- Listening to Lincoln's Challenge Cadets talk about their experience in the structured, quasi-military academy in Rantoul, Ill., a common theme emerges from the nearly 300 young men and women who are about to graduate June 15.

"This place saved my live," said Cadet Javier Campos, 18, from Grayslake, Ill.

"If I didn't complete this, I know I wouldn't complete anything else in life," said Cadet Erin Keegan, 17, of Downers Grove, Ill., and the salutatorian of the class graduating on June 15.

Lincoln's Challenge Academy (LCA) is an Illinois National Guard-administered launching platform for Illinois' at-risk youth that provides Cadets with essential life skills and educational requirements to be successful in today's society. Since LCA began in 1993 as a pilot program, more than 13,000 Cadets have graduated with more than 75 percent earning a GED, making it the most successful Youth Challenge program in the nation.

While both Campos and Keegan said the 22-week residential phase of LCA has given them renewed confidence and instilled improved self-discipline and work ethic, they acknowledge the program is not for everyone.

"This program doesn't work for 100 percent of people, but those few people that take everything to heart and that listen and that learn, they will go places," said Campos.

Keegan, who scored a 3,800 out of 4,000 on the GED exam, the second highest score ever for an LCA Cadet, said being successful at LCA depends on the individual.

"A few things play into it. First is personality and how the individual's personality fits with the military lifestyle. Second is your willingness to change," said Keegan.

LCA is completely voluntary and Cadets can quit the program at any time. Cadets come from different backgrounds, from 115 communities across the state, and for various reasons.

Campos said he was estranged from his mother, living on his own, and performing poorly in school when his Grayslake Central High School dean arranged a meeting with his mother in the dean's office to suggest LCA as an option to get Campos back on track.

"He sat us down to talk and I asked my mother if we could forgive each other. It didn't work out and she left," said Campos. "I sat there in shock. I broke down and felt like I had nobody. The dean said 'you need to trust me, this is something you need to do.'"

Other Cadets were good students and involved in their high school, but strained relationships with their parents led them to LCA.

"When I found out my mom made the decision to send me to Lincoln's Challenge, all I could think about was my Downers Grove South High School teachers and my friends, my cap and gown, my class ring," said Keegan. "To not get to walk across the stage and receive my diploma, to leave that behind was hard. Now, I know it was the right choice. Without LCA I couldn't have learned what I've learned-self discipline-but I still miss Downers Grove South."

If the Cadets had found life to be a challenge before LCA, the challenge that awaited them at the academy proved to be cathartic.

"It was a shock. I had seen military situations on TV and, before I got here, I thought 'I'm big stuff, this will be easy." said Campos. "I was confronted with not only physical challenges, but also emotional challenges. The Cadre tell you how it is. They've been through what we've been through. They're honest and you can relate to them."

During the residential phase Cadets get a $10 per week allowance and, like most high schools, have an array of extracurricular opportunities including yearbook, student council, intramural sports, chorus and band. After the residential phase, the 12-month post-resident phase pairs the Cadets with mentors in their communities to provide positive, continued support. On average, after graduation 49 percent of Cadets go on to get jobs, 34 percent attend college, 12 percent join the military and 5 percent pursue other opportunities.

Keegan plans to study creative writing and performing arts at North Central College in Naperville, Ill. Campos plans to enlist in the Marine Corps and specialize in military intelligence.

Both said they would recommend LCA to young people they see fit.

"Definitely," said Keegan. "I made the right choice. Staying at home I wouldn't have gained the necessary skills for the real world...self-discipline, time management, motivation for life. My habits are much better than they used to be."

Approximately 295 Cadets will graduate from the 40th Lincoln's Challenge Academy class June 15 at 11 a.m. at the Prairie Capital Convention Center in Springfield.

Culver-Stockton College announces Spring 2013 honors lists PDF Print E-mail
News Releases - Education & Schools
Written by Culver-Stockton College Communications   
Wednesday, 12 June 2013 14:09

CANTON, MO. (06/12/2013)(readMedia)-- Culver-Stockton College is proud to announce its President's List, Dean's List and Honor Roll for the spring 2013 semester. To be named to an honors list, students must meet high academic standards established by Culver-Stockton.

Ian Sodawasser, senior musical theatre major, from Davenport, Iowa was named to the Dean's List. Sodawasser is the son of Kristine Oswald of Davenport, Iowa, and Tim Sodawasser of Warrenville, Ill.

James Granack, senior sport management major, from East Moline, Ill. was named to the Dean's List. Granack is the son of Annette Granack of East Moline, Ill., and John Granack of Bettendorf, Iowa.

Maribeth Hartmann, junior psychology major, from East Moline, Ill. was named to the Dean's List. Hartmann is the daughter of Jane Kettering of Milan, Ill., and Chris Hartmann of Milan, Ill.

Sara Allen, junior elementary education major, from Rock Island, Ill. was named to the Honor Roll. Allen is the daughter of Karl and Tina Allen of Kailua, Hawaii.

President's List students have earned a 4.0 GPA and were enrolled in a minimum of 12 hours. Dean's List students have earned between a 3.5 and 3.99 GPA and were enrolled in a minimum of 12 hours, with no grade lower than a C. Honor Roll students have earned between a 3.2 and 3.49 and were enrolled in a minimum of 12 hours, with no grade lower than a C.

Culver-Stockton College is a four-year residential college located in Canton, Mo.

Students named to Illinois College Spring 2013 Dean's List PDF Print E-mail
News Releases - Education & Schools
Written by MaryEllen Roy   
Wednesday, 12 June 2013 13:53

JACKSONVILLE, IL (06/12/2013)(readMedia)-- The following student(s) has been named to Illinois College's Spring 2013 dean's list.

Elizabeth Manary of Moline, Ill., a Moline Senior High School graduate. Manary is a senior at Illinois College

Kelsey McFarren of Fulton, Ill., a Fulton High School graduate. McFarren is a 2013 graduate of Illinois College

Dustin Secrist of Hillsdale, Ill., a Riverdale Senior High School graduate. Secrist is a 2013 graduate of Illinois College

Candidates for the dean's list must complete at least 14 semester hours and post a grade point average of 3.5 or higher on a 4.0 scale. All grades must be C or better, and no more than one C grade is allowed.

Founded in 1829, Illinois College is a residential liberal arts college fostering academic excellence rooted in opportunities for experiential learning while preparing students for lifelong success.

Grand View University Commencement Held; Judy Bradshaw Keynote Speaker PDF Print E-mail
News Releases - Education & Schools
Written by Rachelle Mitchell   
Wednesday, 12 June 2013 13:48

Des Moines, IA. Aaron Warlop of Rock Island, Illinois, has received a BSN, Nursing baccalaureate degrees at Grand View University (Des Moines, Iowa) commencement ceremonies held on Saturday, April 27, 2013 at 2:00 p.m. at Hy Vee Hall in the Iowa Events Center, 730 3rd Street, downtown Des Moines. Additional graduates include Davenport residents Amber Bloch, BA, Psychology;  Ashlee Martin, BA, Human Services; and Deanna Pingel, BSN, Nursing, cum laude.

Judy Bradshaw was the keynote speaker and Grand View conferred upon Bradshaw an honorary degree at commencement.

Chief Bradshaw is a 32-year veteran of the Des Moines Police Department, starting out as a police cadet in 1980. As she climbed through the ranks of the department, she was considered a pioneer as the first woman lieutenant, captain, major, and now chief of police. Chief Bradshaw is the 60th chief of the department.

Chief Bradshaw has worked and supervised in every area of the Police Department, including commanding the Detective Bureau and the Patrol Services Bureau. She developed numerous policies and programs over the course of her career that are still in place today.

Since Chief Bradshaw took the position of Chief of Police in July of 2007, she has expanded our Neighborhood Based Service Delivery Program, assigning detectives and Traffic Unit officers to neighborhoods to provide citizens with greater access to department resources. She also began the LOST Program (Loved Ones Safe and Together) to help find dependent adults with Alzheimer's or other diseases who may become lost or disoriented.

Chief Bradshaw recently implemented an innovative new program called the Community Ambassador Program (CAP). CAP is a team of volunteers consisting of community leaders and clergy who serve as a liaison between the police department and the community. They participate with us in community events, including the Iowa State Fair, and are on-call to respond to incidents and serve as a resource for officers in defusing potentially volatile situations

Under Chief Bradshaw's administration, the Des Moines Police Department has focused attention on high-risk youth, realizing that our investments in mentoring them will pay dividends in the future. We have initiated a youth mentoring program called MY COP (Mentoring Youth With Cops). This initiative connects high-risk youth and police officers at recreational events. The youth contribute to the community by participating in two community service projects and take part in visiting area colleges.
Other significant new programs include online crime-mapping, where the public can retrieve crime stats for different neighborhoods online; and the Crime Free Multi-Housing Program, which targets crime in apartment complexes, duplexes, and other multi-housing facilities. A Traffic Unit hotline has been added, and an online program for reporting crime and complaints is being studied.

Chief Bradshaw has expanded our outreach efforts, reaching out to both the Hispanic community and the Asian community. She developed the Second Chance Initiative Program, which is aimed at assisting youth who commit minor drug offenses. This program has had a positive impact on at-risk youth.
A graduate of the FBI National Academy, Chief Bradshaw also holds a Master's Degree in Public Administration from Drake University. She was selected by the American Legion as their 2008 National Police Officer of the Year.

Grand View University, with an enrollment of approximately 2,200 students, is an independent, liberal arts college affiliated with the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America.


Nine states join Iowa in Midwest STEM Forum PDF Print E-mail
News Releases - Education & Schools
Written by Office of the Governor of Iowa   
Wednesday, 12 June 2013 13:47

(Des Moines) – Thirty-four business, workforce, education and STEM (science, technology, engineering and mathematics) leaders from nine Midwest states joined representatives from the Iowa Governor’s STEM Advisory Council in Des Moines yesterday to exchange best practices and collaborative opportunities regarding state and regional STEM education.

“It was inspiring to see a group of engaged and active representatives from all across the Midwest who are excited about STEM education,” said Lt. Gov. Kim Reynolds, Co-Chair of the Iowa Governor’s STEM Advisory Council. “We must raise the skill level in today’s workforce in order to remain competitive in this knowledge-based, global economy. All of the Midwestern states are in this together - and together we can make greater progress in STEM sooner for the benefit of the thousands of Midwestern students.”

In addition to intensive brainstorming, forum guests ACT, Inc., STEMconnector and the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy briefed the group on STEM learner workforce data and trends.

“The collective wisdom in the room has accelerated each of our state’s STEM programs," said Jeff Weld, executive director of the Iowa Governor’s STEM Advisory Council. “From here we have committed to sustaining our collective community and continuing to grow and strengthen our common interest in first-rate STEM education from toddler to tassel.”

Representatives from Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Kansas, Minnesota, Missouri, Nebraska, North Dakota, South Dakota and Wisconsin joined business leaders from DuPont-Pioneer, IBM, John Deere, Rockwell Collins , Vermeer and Boston Scientific to discuss funding models, STEM schools and career academies, and other ways STEM education can be moved to the forefront  of community discussions. Establishing regional networks and engaging rural communities were also topics of discussion.

To learn about STEM in Iowa, go to

About the Governor’s STEM Advisory Council: Formed in 2011, the Council is a 40-member, public-private partnership dedicated to building a strong STEM education foundation for all Iowans.  


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