Workforce & Community Education

November 10, 2017

Kishwaukee College and Opportunity House, Inc. hosted the sixth annual commencement ceremony for clients who completed the Learning for Life I and Learning for Life II programs on Monday, November 6 in Jenkins Auditorium at the College.

Receiving Certificates of Completion for Learning for Life I were the following Opportunity House clients: Joanna King, Matthew Marler, Andrew Schupbach, and Christian Zeller. Receiving Medals of Completion for Learning for Life II were Kerry Bonney and Alice Craig.

The graduates must complete 32 hours of instruction in addition to class work offered by Opportunity House itself to complete the Learning for Life I Program. On average, the clients took two years to complete the requirements. Clients who received their certificates live with their families, in an agency group homes, or in their own apartments and receive occasional support services from Opportunity House staff. The Medal recipients had previously earned their Learning for Life I Certificates and completed additional coursework.

The commencement ceremony included the singing of the National Anthem by Brian Perkins, Kishwaukee College maintenance staff; welcome remarks from Dr. Borowicz; congratulatory remarks from Robert Shipman, Executive Director of Opportunity House, Inc.; and commencement address by Carla Raynor, Learning for Life instructor. The students received their certificates and medals from Dr. Laurie Borowicz. After the ceremony, the graduates enjoyed light refreshments with family and friends.

Opportunity House, Inc., located in Sycamore and serving DeKalb County, assists people with intellectual and developmental disabilities to work, live in homes of their choice, and enjoy community life. The Learning for Life program is a unique partnership between Opportunity House and Kishwaukee College. It began in 2009 with a first class taught by Carla Raynor, who was also the Family Literacy Coordinator at Kishwaukee College. Raynor integrated readings, activities, field trips and homework and then developed other units based on the interests of the participating clients. Since then, Learning for Life programs have covered a wide range of subjects, including history, transportation, geography, science and more.

The partnership between Kishwaukee College and Opportunity House is one of the important key features of the Learning for Life Program. Through the program, the clients experience intellectually challenging materials that motivate and engage their interest and curiosity as it improves communication, academic, and social skills. Many of the previous Level I graduates have continued on in Learning for Life II and then on to Learning for Life III.

Pictured, L to R, are Carla Raynor, Learning for Life instructor; Kerry Bonney, Learning for Life II graduate; Joanna King, Learning for Life I graduate; Dr. Laurie Borowicz, President of Kishwaukee College; Christian Zeller, Learning for Life I graduate; Alice Craig, Learning for Life II graduate; and Robert Shipman, Executive Director of Opportunity House, Inc. Not pictured are Learning for Life I graduates Matthew Marler and Andrew Schupbach.