Mt. Vernon Register-News

November 1, 2013

RLC scholarships rounded up

The Register-News

---- — After a successful first event last year, the Rend Lake College Criminal Justice program and Instructor Ron Meek hosted the second Criminal Justice Round-up for Scholarships Tuesday night in an effort to keep funds coming in.

The event was held at the Rend Lake Resort in Whittington. First for the evening’s presentations was Judge Michael McHaney of the Illinois Fourth Judicial Circuit as the Master of Ceremonies.

“Whoever came up with the idea of a community college was a genius, and there’s no better place to acquire real-life training than at Rend Lake College. If there is a silver bullet, it’s college, so thank you for coming out here in support,” he said before introducing Meek.

Meek informed the audience that last year’s event raised approximately $3,000, enough to provide five new scholarships to RLC students, and the first ones specifically for those in the Criminal Justice program.

“We are very blessed in this program and for all those who help us, such as the Rend Lake College faculty and staff, our criminal justice instructors and our advisory board,” said Meek.

Two scholarship recipients, Dakota Church of Bluford and Kenise Smith of Thompsonville, addressed the donors with words of thanks and praise.

“When I came to Rend Lake College, I was planning on majoring in orthodontics, but I soon realized that wasn’t for me,” said Smith. “When I switched to criminal justice, I met Mr. Meek and he has been one of the best instructors I’ve had. I know that with this scholarship and his guidance, I will continue to study hard and I know I will achieve my goals.’

Church also spoke about Meek in his speech, “I didn’t know what I was going to do when I came to Rend Lake College. I met Ron Meek in my criminal justice class and I knew that this is where I belong. I want to thank everyone who donated to these scholarships this year and last year. I know the students really need them.”

Next up to present was RLC President Terry Wilkerson who thanked the donors and students, and gave special appreciation to Meek for his hard work and dedication both in the classroom and out.

“When I was the Division Chair, one mistake I didn’t make was hiring Ron Meek as a full-time criminal justice instructor,” said Wilkerson. “It’s one thing to say you’re putting the students first, and another to actually do it. It’s all about the students and he puts them first with things like this dinner tonight. To the students, I say good luck, and to the donors here tonight, we appreciate everything you do. Thank you.”

To wrap up the evening’s program, Jefferson County State’s Attorney Doug Hoffman made a $1,000 donation from the county’s Crime Victim Impact Fund, which is money collected from perpetrators of crimes.

For more information on the Criminal Justice Program, contact the Applied Science and Technology Division at 618-437-5321, Ext. 1261.