Among the participants, 27 students have earned awards for artistic achievement in the exhibit.
Merit Award, Black and White Drawing and Design: Gabby Longtin of Bradley-Bourbonnais Community High School, “I Can’t See”; Daniel Sorich of Bradley-Bourbonnais Community High School, “Childhood Memories”; and Ali Barton of Pontiac High School, “Benevolence.”
Honorable Mention, Black and White Drawing and Design: Olivia Schickel of Pontiac High School, “La Llorona”; Lyssa Kaeb of Cissna Park High School, “Life in the Light”; Cailin Perez of Grant Park High School, “Man’s Best Friend”; and Riley Arseneau of Bradley-Bourbonnais Community High School, “Fishing.”
Merit Award, Colored Drawing and Design: Isabella Haut of Kankakee High School, “Hopeless” (at left); Kyndyll Contreras of Bradley-Bourbonnais Community High School, “Haunted Masquerade.”
Honorable Mention, Colored Drawing and Design: Selina Zhang - Bradley-Bourbonnais Community High School, “Behind the Scenes”; Sara Fernandez of Bishop McNamara Catholic High School, Untitled; and Antonio Ayala of Manteno High School, “Man.”
Merit Award, Painting: Mary Jane Ingold of Pontiac High School, “My Big Fat Joke”; Faith Horn of Bishop McNamara Catholic High School, “The City” (at right); and Kimberly Fitzsimmons of Pontiac High School, “Soda-liscious.”
Honorable Mention, Painting: Nicole Chavez of Bradley-Bourbonnais Community High School, “Senior Year”; and by Charlie McGuire of Bradley-Bourbonnais Community High School, “Hunted by Leed’s Devil.”
Merit Award, Photography / Electronic Imaging: Aleighia Boldt of Pontiac High School, “Aching”; Zoe Ault of Herscher High School, “In Full Bloom” (at left) ; and Emily McDaniel of Herscher High School, “Limited Resources.”
Honorable Mention, Photography / Electronic Imaging: Abigail Batdorf of Herscher High School, Untitled; Litty Dummer of Herscher High School; “Handmade”; and Kennedy Lakomiak of Bishop McNamara Catholic High School; “Orbit.”
Merit Award, 3-D Artwork: Allison Perez of Bishop McNamara Catholic High School, Untitled; and Simon Hodolitz of Watseka High School, “Live for Bryce.” (at right)
Honorable Mention, 3-D Artwork: Charlotte Baker of Herscher High School, Untitled; and Rosana Bolivar of Bradley-Bourbonnais Community High School, “One Hot Tamali.”
Jurors are the KCC art faculty.
Following is a list of all 2021 art show participants and the schools they represent:
Bishop McNamara Catholic High School: Sara Fernandez, Faith Horn, Reese Johnson, Ariana Kime, Kennedy Lakomiak, Keilly Lamore, Allison Perez and Isabelle Quigley.
Bradley-Bourbonnais Community High School: Angie Alequin, Riley Arseneau, Cassius Blair, Rosana Bolivar, Nicole Chavez, Kyndyll Contreras, Emma Dmitrasz, Gabby Longtin, Charlie McGuire, Marisa McKune, Kylee Morrow, Rebecca Myers, Maiya Pontious, Ryleigh Shaul, SkylarSims, Daniel Sorich, Emily Vasquez, Alex Watson and Selina Zhang.
Cissna Park High School: Cale Clauss, Kaiden Clingenpeel, Carter Ferguson, Gnoah Frank, Yaritza Gomez-Martinez, Tesla Griffith, Brianne Johnson, Lyssa Kaeb, Sam Kaeb, Tyler Kaeb, Madison Long, Bethany Maul, KayLee McWethy, Ava Morrical, Chase Petry, Aubrey Richards, Justin Rose, Brody Sluis, Ryan Strebeck, Anthony Tomasek and Allison Wessels.
Grant Park High School: Jaden Ewolt, Ashley Grimes, Sydney Haut, Reiley Kaack, Emily Kveck, Avery Lape, Michael Nardi, Ayden Nunley, Cailin Perez, Cody Radzik and Sophia West.
Herscher High School: Zoe Ault, Charlotte Baker, Abigail Batdorf, Litty Dummer, Olivia Jensen and Emily McDaniel.
Kankakee High School: Mia Arseneau, Emily Campos, Kendra Hallberg, Isabel Haut and Thandie Keown.
Manteno High School: Antonio Ayala, Emma Boucher, Alex Carmack, Hailey Durnavich, Reese Eldridge, J. Haddon, Lilly Isaacs, Nora Juranich and Carter McCormick.
Momence High School: Abby Cantrell, Tessa Chico, Catherine Deutscher, Chrishya Houston, Francisco Melgar and Vanessa Raisenan.
Pontiac High School: Ali Barton, Aleighia Boldt, Jalyn Farris, Kimberly Fitzsimmons, Alicia Gonzalez, Mary Jane Ingold, Tatum Runyon, Olivia Schickel and Whitney Weber.
Watseka High School: Jack Combes, Simon Hodolitz and Amelio Salinas.
Saturday’s graduation at Kankakee Community College will include four employees from CSL Behring, the first to complete a new apprenticeship program.
Peter Dato II, Jammie Shell, Christopher Gottschall and Ronald Mantooth (left to right in the photo) will become the first employees of CSL to successfully complete a three-year apprenticeship program that is a cooperative effort between the industry and KCC. The program means a better trained employee for CSL and a more rewarding job with a brighter economic future for the men.
“To build our talent pipeline and keep the operations running smoothly, it was imperative to think creatively about building internal talent,” says Sara Regnier, CSL’s Occupational Health Services Manager. Regnier was a Human Relations Business Consultant at CSL when the program started.
“The apprenticeship program is a win-win for both CSL Behring and the employee,” says Regnier.
CSL and KCC worked hard to make the program as convenient as possible for the workers. Paul Carlson, the Dean of Business, Technology and Human Services at KCC, explains the CSL had tuition reimbursement for the employees. In addition they were on the company’s clock while in class and all books and supplies were paid for by CSL.
But that doesn’t mean it was easy.
Thirty-five year-old Chris Gottschall was studying for the class while he and his wife Hailey were raising three children under the age of 10: Emmett, Eli and Mia. When Chris started in class, Hailey was pregnant with the youngest, Mia, now 2.
And it seemed, he said, that at any time, two of the children were crying. So study time happened when the children went to sleep.
Jammie Shell, 44, and his wife Jolan have two daughters. He’s also heavily involved in his community, serving on the board at Sun River Terrace and as a member and former president of the Shrine Club. Yes, he’s one of the fellows who rides the motorized camels in parades.
He wound up with a lot of late night studying. If the family was traveling anywhere, wife Jolan would be driving and Shell would be hitting the books while riding shotgun.
Both men say a lot of people helped them get through, including patient wives. Thanks also go to Regnier for helping to start the program, they say. Their supervisor, Bryan Cross, has also been very supportive.
But they also studied together as a group and learned from each other. They would often arrive 45 minutes early for classes, which were generally held on Tuesdays and Thursdays, so they could review together. Gottschall is strong in math, helping others when that came up.
Both add that the training has opened up work for them. Before, the workers basically had one job. Now they do many. Shell says he has done HVAC, pneumatics and engineering. “Every day is an event,” he says. Gottschall says he used to dread doing the same thing day after day. Now he can do fabrication, welding and maintenance among others.
“Everything about my job is better,” Gottschall says. Before, he would carry stress from work home. The stress level is way down now.
“I love doing what I do,” he says.
KCC’s Carlson says that while the apprenticeship program is open to a wide range of businesses, so far CSL Behring is the only local taker. “If others are interested, this is available to them,” Carlson says. “We have a wonderful working relationship with CSL,” he adds.
Admission into the program begins with seniority. If the worker wants to apply there is also a math and English test at KCC. If the candidate passes that, a mechanical aptitude test follows.
Carlson says that there are 10 employees in the program now, with this cohort of four being the first to graduate. It is, he adds, not just a vocational degree. Students take the same general education classes as everyone else, including English and math.
Carlson describes the coursework as a mixture of traditional textbook learning and hands-on work. Generally two days are devoted to classes, he says, 10-12 hours a week. One of the graduation bonuses, he says, is that along with certificates in Manufacturing Production and Manufacturing Industrial Maintenance, among others, the graduates get other useful knowledge along the way, like OSHA (Occupational Safety and Health Administration) certification and Red Cross First Aid and CPR (Cardio Pulmonary Resuscitation).
Carlson says the apprenticeship idea for current employees originated with the U.S. Department of Labor, but that the CSL-KCC program is “the model for the State of Illinois.”
Locally, Regnier said, CSL had been working on the concept with is bargaining unit. The idea was reinvigorated at a Manteno Chamber of Commerce luncheon where apprenticeships were discussed. Ladonna Russell of the Grundy Livingston Kankakee Workforce Board set up a roundtable discussion with Carlson and with KCC’s Michael Boyd, who would eventually become president there.
A cross-functional committee followed at CSL Behring, with Human Relations team members, managers and supervisors of the trade skills area and technicians from the bargaining unit working with KCC on curriculum, class schedules, mentoring and student orientation.
The result was a program, Shell said, where “CSL financially made it so we literally had no excuses not to succeed as long as we did our part.”
There are always moments, Carlson said, where people approach the mile markers in their lives and someone lifts a lantern to help them.
Though she has wanted to finish a nursing degree for more than 10 years, circumstances were stacked against her. Silvey is a single mother. She left high school at age 16. She worked multiple jobs at a time to support herself and her two daughters.
“I was on my own at age 16,” Silvey recalls. She was pregnant at the time, but the child was lost to a miscarriage.
To get by, Silvey starting working two jobs. Within a few years, she was studying for the GED high school equivalency. She passed the GED exam six months before her high school classmates would graduate. Shortly after, her first daughter, Zoey, was born in June 2010.
Silvey continued working, but she wanted a career in nursing. She lived in Griffith, Indiana, and her first try at college was also in Indiana. Silvey’s math placement scores were low, and she wasn’t able to enter the program.
“At the school in Indiana, I was advised away from nursing,” Silvey said. “I thought about staying there and trying to prove them wrong. I also wondered if they were right. Was I meant to be something other than a nurse?”
Then, her second daughter, Scarlett, was born in 2012. A few years later, Silvey and her daughters moved from Indiana to Momence. In 2016, she started taking classes at Kankakee Community College.
Silvey took the entry exam for KCC’s health careers programs, and met Kate Wachtor, an academic advisor who offered a glimmer of hope.
“Kate has been a godsend and my biggest supporter,” Silvey said. “She said ‘You can do it.’ Then she laid out what it would take and said ‘That’s what you’re going to have to do.’”
“Ashley was passionate about wanting to be an RN,” Wachtor said. “She was dealing with a lot of external uncertainties that really impacted her ability to focus solely on her educational and career goals. Knowing Ashley had to have flexibility and the ability to have a contingency plan in place, we broke down what she needed to do by setting up a realistic game plan with a manageable timeframe.
“I knew that I could stay stagnant or I could work hard,” Silvey said. “I’m pretty sure that I’m dyslexic, even though it has never been diagnosed. Numbers just don’t click for me. So I work very hard to figure things out.”
In Fall 2016, Silvey completed three college-level classes and a math fundamentals course. The following spring and summer, she finished four more classes, including a Nursing Assistant course which is among the requirements to enter the college’s registered nursing program.
She re-took the nursing program entry exam.
Silvey also moved to Florida for about four months.
After moving back, she made a promise to herself: “I have to do this for my kids. I have to do this for me.” It was 2019. Silvey had already taken the program entrance exam three times. It was time to try again.
“I watched YouTube and studied non-stop for two months,” Silvey recounted. “At the same time, I was enrolled in Anatomy and Physiology. It was my third time in that class.”
Silvey got the breakthrough she needed and scored high enough to enter the Registered Nursing program in Fall 2019. Her daughters were 6 and 8 years old.
“With Ashley, her path at KCC had some highs and lows, and moments she had to take a step back—but she never once stopped,” Wachtor continued. “Ashley was always willing to learn, make mistakes, and keep coming back to learn some more.
“When she had an issue, she was never afraid to speak up and reach out to someone,” Wachtor said. “She created a network of individuals on campus that really cared for her. She took advantage of resources that all of our student have—yet few take advantage of. She flourished into this brilliant student, while continuing to be a loving mom, and role model to others.”
Silvey continued working and going to college for two years in the registered nursing program. There were times when she had five jobs – four of them as a bartender, and another as a receptionist. She frequently picked up work shifts to pay for the babysitters she needed while she was at class and clinicals.
“Ashley was extremely determined to reach her goal of becoming a nurse,” said Jenny Rogers RN, MSN, CMSRN, one of Silvey’s nursing professors at KCC. “She utilized the success coach. She was never afraid to come in to our office and ask questions, or just reach out for a word of encouragement. You could see her determination. The last part of the semester, the students complete a capstone rotation where they work one-on-one with a nurse. Ashley was placed on night shift, which can be challenging as a single mom. She did not make excuses or complain. She reached out to a fellow nursing student (who throughout the program became like family) who offered to keep her children overnight the nights of capstone.”
“Ashley has consistently demonstrated the knowledge, compassion and professionalism required of a licensed nurse,” said Bernie Hinrich, MSN, RN, CCRN, another of Silvey’s nursing professors at KCC. “In addition, she always brought enthusiasm for learning and the desire to care for others—especially those patients who are the most vulnerable. Many patients commented, ‘Ashley will be a great nurse.’”
For the 2020-21 school year, Silvey was awarded the KCC Century Scholarship. It covers all tuition, books and fees. TheKCC Foundation awards the Century Scholarship to “students who demonstrate outstanding academic performance as well as strength of character.”
“Ashley worked harder than anyone I’ve ever seen,” said Jennifer Zimmerman, coordinator of scholarships at KCC. “She has worked so hard for everything she has achieved. She’s one of those people who you meet and you know she’s going to be successful. She never lets anything hold her back.
“Ashley is a great example of how, with the support of a scholarship and other personal attention, a KCC degree can change people’s lives. And what is so inspiring about her, is that no matter how much she had going on in her life, her priority was always to help others.”
On May 14, along with 30 other new nurses, Silvey will participate in a pinning ceremony. She was selected by her peers to be the class speaker. The next day, Silvey will graduate from KCC with an Associate Degree in Registered Nursing. Next, she will take the National Council Licensure Examination (NCLEX-RN® exam) before the end of June. She is currently interviewing for jobs near Lafayette, Ind., where she moved in January 2021.
“Ashley always had what it took, she just needed that little nudge in the right direction and the option to adapt and move on to plan B when things got tough,” Wachtor said. “She just radiates positivity and energy wherever she goes. She really should be proud of all that she has accomplished. She is going to do great things after she leaves KCC.”
“My girls are 8 and 10,” Silvey said. “For five years, they have been on this journey with me. It’s been difficult. To get this far has been great. I’m grateful for the support I’ve had here at KCC. It’s such an honor to be in this program. I don’t know if I could have done it anywhere else.”
The impact of helping each other
“I think KCC as a whole is excellent in offering resources to help students overcome barriers. Many of our students depend on our food pantry and we have referred students to the Compassion Fund which can help them with certain financial barriers they may be enduring.
"The nursing program is not easy. It is not for everyone. For Ashley, it was her dream to become a nurse. Was it an easy path for her? No, it’s not an easy path for anyone. However, Ashley’s grit and determination helped her achieve her goal to be where she is at today. We could not be prouder of Ashely and all of our graduates! I hope Ashely’s story inspires everyone to be that ONE person who can encourage others and be like Kate (Wachtor) who gave this student hope. I’m praying her story impacts so many others out there who relate to Ashley’s story.
"Your goal may not be to become a nurse. Whatever your goal may be, KCC is here to help you achieve it!”
-Jenny Rogers, RN, MSN, CMSRN KCC Nursing Professor