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Press Release



May 13, 2009

IMPACT honors students with end of year celebration


IMPACT studentsWanting to recognize the work done by the students in the IMPACT program, an end of year celebration was held Wednesday, May 6 in the Earle N. Wright Community Room, located in the Brown Center on the Arkansas City campus.

“This is a nice way for us to showcase our graduates and encourage the students to finish the year strong,” Jason O’Toole, director of Student Support Services Grant/IMPACT said.

The IMPACT program is a federally funded student support service Trio program. The celebration consisted of dinner, a review of the past year, and the announcement of the IMACT Male and Female Students of the Year.

The Female Student of the Year was Robin Ray, while Manny DeLoera was named the Male Student of the Year.

“It’s tough to pick just one student each because we have got a lot of students that work hard and go above and beyond in using our program as a resource daily,” O’Toole said. “These two have shown the ability to overcome obstacles and keep moving forward. They are creative, innovative, and work hard in school.”

Buddy Shannon served as the guest speaker for the evening. Mr. Shannon is a well-known inspirational speaker, a community volunteer, and is actively involved at St. Mark United Methodist Church. He is President of the Real Men, Real Heroes Organization, a member of the Board of Trustees for Wichita Children’s Home, on the Site Council Committee for Gammon Elementary School, and involved with Big Brothers and Big Sisters.

He has received the President’s Call to Service Award from George W. Bush, USD 259 Good Apple Award, Big Brother of the Year Award, and the David Wessling Humanitarian of the Year Award from the Diversity of Kansas Organization.

Shannon is a landscape designer and a manager at the Tree Top Nursery in Wichita where he has been employed for the past 14 years. Previously, he worked for Beech Aircraft.

“He talked about the importance of education and even though you may have ups and downs you need to continue to move forward and shoot for the stars,” O’Toole said.

Pictured are some of the recent graduates in the IMPACT program.