JWCC College for Life graduation celebration held May 6

college for life grads

Front row, Nick Burgess, Cheyenne Gayton, Gena Mann and Mercedez Farmer; back row, Conner Sparks, Matthew Harland, Skylar Heinze and Jace Robinson | Photo courtesy of John Wood Community College

QUINCY — A graduation celebration was held May 6 for John Wood Community College’s College for Life, a certificate program for adult students with intellectual or developmental disabilities.

The first group of students graduated in May 2020, joining other JWCC graduates in the modified COVID commencement ceremony. However, they did not get to gather as a group. CFL alumni joined the 2022 graduates and celebrated with family and friends who have supported students’ success. 

“College for Life got my confidence up, and I made new friends,” CFL alum Mercedez Farmer said in a press release. 

Stephanie Sparks, the mother of CFL graduate Conner Sparks, said, “He is much more social. He has friends who he talks about and enjoys. He enjoys coming, and it’s changed everything.  He has grown so much over the last three years.”  

CFL graduates took part in the full traditional JWCC commencement ceremony on May 13.

College for Life’s 2022 graduates are:

  • Matthew Harland, Quincy
  • Skylar Heinze, Quincy
  • Jace Robinson, Pleasant Hill
  • Summer Saathoff, Quincy
  • Conner Sparks, LaPrairie

Alumni are:

  • Nick Burgess, Quincy
  • Mercedez Farmer, Pittsfield
  • Cheyenne Gayton, Lewistown, Mo.
  • Jessica Jansen, Quincy
  • Gena Mann, Pittsfield 

For more information on the CFL program, contact Michele Westmaas at mwestmaas@jwcc.edu

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