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UIS Student Joins UIS Police Force Before Graduation
It's that time of year for pomp and circumstance and diplomas.
More than 1,300 students at the University of Illinois Springfield (UIS) will be college graduates Saturday. But at least one didn't think graduating from college was a realistic dream.
"It's going to be amazing," said 26-year-old UIS student Desitny Skaggs. "I'll probably be all smiles up there."
Destiny is one of 732 who will be walking across the stage at the Prairie Capital Convention Center and receiving a diploma--finally earning her college degree after years of hard work.
"Just last semester, I worked 60 hours, I worked two jobs and then I had five classes to take care of," said Skaggs. "It's a lot of work and I wanted to do well with my grades."
Making the grades is exactly what she did.
"My lowest grade since 2009 was an A-," said Skaggs.
She's the first to earn a bachelors degree in her family, and now graduating with honors in the criminal justice program at UIS. Like many soon-to-be graduates, Skaggs was set on landing a job, so she applied to the university's police force.
"You have to pass a state civil service test, you have to pass the state power test, you have to go in front of a oral board--the oral board is made up of police chiefs from surrounding communities--and then human resources rates them and I get the top three people off of the list," said UIS Chief of Police Don Mitchell.
Skaggs was one of the three and got the job.
"I was all smiles. I called my mom immediately," said Skaags. "It's just indescribable how I felt when I got that."
Mitchell says the job outlook for many new graduates is very grim, but with hard work and dedication, jobs are out there.
"She came up at the top of the list and met all of the requirements," said Mitchell.
Skaggs is now a UIS police officer in training.
"I would like to be a sergeant here, that is a definite real possibility, and I'll take it from there once I achieve that," said Skaags.
UIS graduation will take place Saturday, May 17 at the Prairie Capital Convention Center starting at 4 p.m. The public is welcome to attend.