Press "Enter" to skip to content

Cortez: The time for Sauk’s Impact Program is now

With great sadness, I read the recent Telegraph article, “Lack of volunteers, COVID-19 takes down longtime Sauk Valley charity.”

For too long, we have watched the decline and demise of great charitable organizations like The Good Neighbor Emergency Center because of a lack of volunteers.

For too long, we have watched businesses close or leave the Sauk Valley because they cannot find a trained local work force.

This is why the time for Sauk Valley Community College’s Impact Program is now. The Impact Program will recruit more than 1,300 high school freshmen from across the Sauk Valley this spring. In exchange for volunteering 25 hours a year with local charitable organizations, these students will earn 100% of their tuition and fees at SVCC for up to three years.

That will equate to more than 32,500 volunteer hours.

In addition to providing thousands of much-needed volunteers to our communities (and based on the successes of hundreds of similar programs across the country), the Impact Program is projected not only to dramatically increase the pool of trained, qualified workers so prized by present and future employers, but also to retain and attract businesses and families for years to come.

Take a moment to imagine how this energy will revitalize the Sauk Valley.

Now imagine witnessing the beginnings of this revitalization for yourself . . . this year. Witness how young people are developing a strong work ethic while learning more about their communities and their vital place in them.

In the not-too-distant future, you will read how this army of student volunteers has re-energized charitable organizations, retained populations, and attracted new businesses to the Sauk Valley.

If only these student volunteers had been available to The Good Neighbor Emergency Center.

To fund this transformative program, SVCC is conducting its biggest campaign in the college’s history. One year into the multimillion-dollar, multiyear campaign, the Sauk Valley College Foundation has received nearly $4 million from area individuals, businesses, government and educational entities, and service organizations to develop the financial resources needed to support this crucial initiative.

To learn more about how you, your charitable organization, or business can support the Impact Program, contact the Sauk Valley College Foundation at or 815-835-6260.

Lori Cortez is Sauk Valley Community College’s Dean of institutional Advancement. She can be reached at

Source: The Daily Chronicle

Be First to Comment

    Leave a Reply