JWCC College For Life Graduation Celebration

JWCC main campus building
May 13, 2022

JWCC College For Life Graduation Celebration

JWCC’s College for Life (CFL) is a certificate program for adult students with intellectual/developmental disabilities.

On May 6, 2022, a graduation celebration was held for John Wood’s College for Life program. This is the first graduation celebration for CFL students. The first group of students graduated in May 2020. They joined other JWCC graduates in the modified Covid commencement ceremony, but they did not get to gather as a group. CFL alumni joined the current graduates and celebrated with family and friends who have supported students’ success.

JWCC CFL student alumni Mercedez Farmer said, “College for Life got my confidence up and I made new friends.”

Conner Sparks, CFL graduating student has gained the confidence to take a credit course in the fall. Conner’s mom, Stephanie Sparks said, “He is much more social. He has friends that he talks about and enjoys. He enjoys coming, and it’s changed everything.  He has grown so much over the last three years.”

For the first time, CFL graduates will also take part in the full traditional JWCC Commencement Ceremony on Friday, May 13, 2022.

“The purpose of College for Life is to give students an opportunity to continue learning after high school,” Westmaas said. “Students gain skills to create their best adult life.”


Matthew Harland, Quincy

Skylar Heinze, Quincy

Jace Robinson, Pleasant Hill

Summer Saathoff, Quincy

Conner Sparks, LaPrairie


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.

Front L-R: Nick Burgess, Cheyenne Gayton, Gena Mann, Mercedez Farmer

Back L-R: Conner Sparks, Matthew Harland, Skylar Heinze, Jace Robinson

John Wood Community College is the educational link between business and community. JWCC collaboratively creates innovative and relevant academic and training programs with business leaders to educate young people and the workforce for today's needs and tomorrow's opportunities. JWCC has centers in Quincy, Pittsfield, Baylis and Mt. Sterling, Illinois. Programs include a comprehensive baccalaureate transfer curriculum, customized business training, career/technical degrees, certificates, and personal enrichment courses.