The Foundation received the donation from the estate of Mr. Herman Dieckamp, a 1964 graduate of Jacksonville High School. The Foundation was honored with the generous gift upon his passing.
Executive Director of the Jacksonville Public Schools Foundation, Amy Albers says she is excited for students of Jacksonville High School and looking forward to working with District 117 to create new opportunities.
“We got word of this donation in 2019 and received it in 2020, but we have just been able to put things in place. We are very excited to be able to use this to benefit our Jacksonville High School students.”
Previously Mr. Dieckamp gave the Foundation a donation of $1 million dollars in 2010 to fund the Herman Dieckamp University of Illinois Scholarship which is awarded annually to a senior at Jacksonville High School.
Albers says Mr. Dieckamp valued both of the educations he received at JHS and U of I, and he wanted to help aid others in being able to take the next step to higher education.
Although Mr. Dieckamp valued his secondary education he realized college is not for everyone. Albers says in many conversations she had with Mr. Dieckamp he emphasized the importance of students going into trades as well as college.
“Before he died, he was very passionate about those who weren’t going to take the traditional college path. He wanted to improve the vocational opportunities for our students so they could come out and be ready to join the workforce.”
With the gift and through the numerous conversations had with Mr. Dieckamp, the Foundation will uphold providing Jacksonville High School with more vocational opportunities. Albers says the focus to make sure the area students are ready to be employed post-graduation.
“The Jacksonville High School already offers a lot of vocational classes. We’re very fortunate a school district, the size we are to have this many vocational opportunities that we do have. We just need to enhance those, focus on, add some, and focus on what is needed in our area. We want to match our students to the needs here so they come out employable.”
Albers says the Foundation Board of Directors is looking forward to working with District 117 to launch a project to expand and enhance relevant technical and vocational training and education opportunities for Jacksonville High School students to have skills that respond to the workforce demand in the region.