Tour Gives Students Taste of College Life
Estella Gaston Foundation Partners with Lincoln College to Promote College Education

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[April 05, 2019]  LINCOLN - Exposing first generation and at-risk students to a college environment was the goal of a “Kids for College” day jointly sponsored by the Bloomington-based Estella Gaston Foundation and the Lincoln College MacKinnon School of Business.

The event brought about twenty elementary school students to Lincoln College March 29, where they toured the campus, visited the Lincoln Heritage Museum and the Creekside Center for Environmental Education and met with Lincoln College President David Gerlach. The event allows students, who may not have any firsthand experience with higher education, an opportunity to visit a college campus,

The visit was the brainchild of Sandra Dickerson, a graduate of the College’s Accelerated Bridge to Education (ABE) program. Dickerson established the Estella Gaston Foundation to honor her mother, who was a pillar of Chicago’s west side community and a lifelong advocate for education.  As the co-owner, with her husband Jimmie Gaston, of Chicago’s Jimmie-G’s restaurant, Estella Gaston used the business as a platform to support the community and promote education, including a long-standing policy of offering a free lunch to honor roll students.

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While a student in the ABE program at Lincoln College, Sandra Dickerson worked with the business program faculty to develop a plan for her not-for-profit. Lincoln College faculty, Dr. Jonathon Pierce, Dr. Tasha Jones, Aaron Hurley, and adjunct faculty Gwenda Sutton all now serve as advisors to the Foundation.

The Foundation also offers after-school and summer programs for students in the Bloomington-Normal area.

[Mark Gordon
Public Relations and Media Manager
Lincoln College]


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