DECATUR — Richland Community College has named Courtney Carson, a Decatur Board of Education member and longtime mentor of area youth, as its new director of essential skills and community relations.

The position will allow Carson to work with students to help them develop life skills, the college said. 

“This position means that the prospective students I work with will have advanced their life in the areas of communicating more effectively, thinking critically and creatively, acting more professionally and responsibly, will be more technologically savvy; and they will be able to recognize how important they are to their community,” Carson said in a statement.

“It doesn’t matter the background of a person, when one is a better person internally, it allows them to be a better citizen externally, and they then will have the opportunity to become a huge benefit to those around them.”

Carson, associate minister at Antioch Missionary Baptist Church, was elected to the school board last year. In his youth he was one of the so-called "Decatur Seven," high school students whose expulsion after a fight at a football game in 1999 attracted national attention. 

Carson has worked for the past year and a half with Richland’s Highway Construction Training program and serves on boards of the Illinois Juvenile Justice Initiative, the United Way of Decatur, the South Side Improvement Association and the Organized Action Council.

 PHOTOS: 2 years in the changed life of the Rev. Courtney Carson

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Contact Ryan Voyles at (217) 421-7985. Follow him on Twitter: @RVVoyles


Macon County Reporter

Macon County reporter for the Herald & Review.

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