The Starke County Initiative for Lifelong Learning is being recognized by NIPSCO for its efforts in strengthening local communities in the area of education. SCILL is one of five recipients of the fifth annual NIPSCO Luminary Awards being presented this evening in Merrillville.
Coordinator of student services and programs Jerry Gurrado says the recognition means a lot to the organization, “Sometimes you’re fortunate enough to get an award and it’s rather hollow or shallow, but coming from NIPSCO, they’re pretty diligent in how they do their screening process, so it’s just a tremendous honor.”
He says the group deserves the recognition, “It’s always nice to be recognized, but we’ve always been just a little bit prejudiced and thought that we have this little hidden gem here in Starke County that is something that the entire county should be proud of because so many entities and people have been instrumental in our success.”
Gurrado says it feels good to be part of a team that’s doing amazing work, “All of us have days when we kind of grind at work and days when you kind of scratch your head and wonder why you’re doing what you’re doing. You don’t do it for awards, but when something like this pops up, it just makes you feel so proud of your entire organization because you know that this wasn’t through the efforts of just one person or a small committee or anything like that.”
Additionally, NIPSCO’s donating $1,000 to each award winner’s charity of choice.
Gurrado says the money for SCILL will likely go to the Starke County Community Foundation.