INA- Rend Lake College student Shaneille Louis embodies the working relationship RLC maintains with surrounding high schools. Because of the partnership of RLC and Pinckneyville High School, through the dual-credit program, Louis will be able to earn a two-year degree from RLC after taking only one year of on-campus courses.
Thanks to a lot of hard work on her part and a supporting mother, Stacy Louis, she is well on her way to pursuing a Baccalaureate Degree in Elementary Special Education from Southern Illinois University at Edwardsville. There were times when she had trouble focusing on the big picture, but her mother was always there to put things into perspective, she said.
“My mom always wanted me to get involved in the dual-credit program and I was very busy,” she said. “At the time, I didn’t think that it was worth it. But now, being at Rend Lake College, I can see that it was well worth it.”
RLC Foundation CEO Pat Mitchell said she could tell Louis was an excellent student through Louis’ part-time work in the RLC Foundation office.
“Shaneille is a shining example of a high achiever,” Mitchell said. “She is the kind of student that the Rend Lake College Foundation is excited to welcome into the scholarship program.”
Before starting fall classes at RLC, she was earning college credit by working at Pinckneyville Grade School through the cooperative education program. She also earned college credit at RLC by seizing opportunity through dual enrollment and Distance Learning while she was a student at Pinckneyville High School.
Distance Learning through RLC allows students to take a number of courses without ever stepping foot on campus. RLC Distance Learning sites are scattered throughout the surrounding area. In Louis’ case, she earned college credit from the RLC Murphy-Wall Pinckneyville Campus.
Louis has been involved in the National Honor Society, Junior Class Congress, athletics, the Spanish Club, Pep Club, band, chorus, charity events and church.
Born on the cutoff date for school enrollment, her mother and father, Larry Louis, chose to start her on the path to higher learning sooner rather than later. She is attending classes at RLC before her 18th birthday on Friday.
Louis spent the summers and many nights during her junior and senior years of high school working to gain college credit. A year of college already under her belt, as well as the Stotlar Scholarship to RLC, will save money for Larry and Stacy who are already facing high medical costs for Stacy’s cancer treatment. She was told she had cancer in 2003 and has since undergone numerous treatments and surgery to stifle the disease.
On her scholarship application, Louis stated, “My mom has always been a fighter. With many prayers and determination on her part, my mom is doing great right now.”
Louis is the recipient of the Dr. Gene and Ramona Stotlar Scholarship to RLC, which is awarded to a PHS student who is in the top one-third of the graduating class and is pursuing a Baccalaureate Degree. Dr. Stotlar is a retired physician from Pinckneyville and is a member of the RLC Foundation Board of Directors.
“I am very honored to have been chosen to be the recipient of the Dr. Gene and Ramona Stotlar Scholarship,” she stated. “I promise to represent this scholarship with all that I have.”
While living in Pinckneyville with mom, dad and her brother and sister, Louis will continue to honor that promise on her path toward a four-year degree in only three years. She started classes at RLC last week and said she is enjoying the college setting.
“It’s a little different from the high school setting, but I am getting used to it,” she said. “It’s going really well.”
For a high-resolution version of this photo,click here.