Eighteen-year-old George Franklin “Frank” Justice, III of Stonington earned a Lincoln Land Community College degree and certificate at Commencement Ceremonies May 13, three weeks prior to graduating from high school. LLCC officials say he is the first student to accomplish this.
Mr. Justice graduated with honors from LLCC, receiving an associate in applied science degree in construction occupations. He also earned a certificate of completion in welding. He accumulated more than 60 college credits at LLCC and will enter Southern Illinois University-Edwardsville in the fall to major in mechanical engineering.
While at LLCC, Mr. Justice served as vice president of the Taylorville Student Union and was a member of Phi Theta Kappa Honor Society. He was the recipient of an LLCC First Generation College Student Scholarship and two scholarships from the Springfield Area Home Builders Association.
Mr. Justice began taking LLCC classes, with special permission, at age 15. When asked how he was able to successfully attend high school and college simultaneously, he responded, “The key was time management. I basically took classes year-round at LLCC from the time I was 15. During my senior year of high school, I spent the entire afternoons at LLCC-Taylorville in the PACT program.”
PACT (Professional Accelerated Career Training) allows high school students to attend LLCC-Taylorville during their school day to earn college credit in professional fields.
Mr. Justice says he had great support in his quest for a college degree and especially thanked his parents, and Marty Swan, LLCC construction occupations coordinator. Mr. Swan commented, “Frank did it on his own. He is a motivated, mature young man. In addition to his own studies, he assisted other students who were struggling. I am confident he will do very well at SIU-E, and he will be an asset to anyone who hires him.”
LLCC-Taylorville Assistant Director Dee Krueger noted that Frank has become a role model for other high school students. “A sophomore came in recently and told me he wanted to do what Frank did,” she said. “Frank is an excellent example of what can be achieved with hard work and determination.”