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Lake Land College students enter Paul Simon Essay Contest

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MATTOON — Lake Land College students Suhyun Moon of Gimhae, South Korea and Chandler Smith of Charleston submitted essays for consideration in the 2020 Illinois Community College Trustees Association’s Paul Simon Essay Contest.

The theme of the essay contest was “How My Community College Changed My Life,” and both Moon and Smith had some heartfelt words to share about their time at Lake Land College.

All students enrolled at ICCTA member colleges were eligible to participate in the contest at the local level, with one entry per college entered at the statewide competition each year.

This year, the Lake Land College Board of Trustees chose Suhyun Moon’s essay to represent Lake Land College at the statewide competition. In her essay, Moon expressed her gratitude to Lake Land.

“Being a Lake Land College student absolutely changed my life,” Moon said. “I gained the importance of working hard, overcoming failure and embracing a challenging spirit, which changed my behavior forever.”

Moon also expressed in her essay that even prior to attending Lake Land College she was interested in finding ways to help give back to her community. Upon becoming a student at Lake Land , Moon was able to become involved with many areas she supported.

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“Throughout the process of seeking ways to give back to my campus, I found that I truly enjoy participating in many challenging activities and always find something to learn,” Moon said. “Through this experience, I realized what inclusion was like.”

Having done a great deal of searching before choosing to attend Lake Land, Moon attributed her choice to its affordability and programs in a variety of fields.

“I decided to attend Lake Land College,” Moon said. “That was the best decision I have ever made.”

Smith also commended Lake Land in his essay for helping him change his life.

“Lake Land College gave me more than just a degree,” Smith said. “They gave me an education and a job.”

Smith also praised the instructors and fellow students for the experiences he gained during his time at Lake Land.

“Especially with autism, it’s hard to communicate your point across to people,” Smith said. “I know I will always have great support from people here at Lake Land.”


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