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Justin Lipes, Associate in Arts '03   

WHY DID YOU CHOOSE CARL SANDBURG COLLEGE?
Paying for college is a big consideration for  a young adult. Annual tuition and fees at four-year universities can soar into the tens of thousands of dollars. Carl Sandburg has a beautiful campus. It gave me the big college feel with the small college comforts. I was able to take the classes I wanted and needed without piling on mounds of student debt. I was also able to balance my school life with my personal life. The academic flexibility allowed me to ease into higher education without feeling overwhelmed or burdened financially. Financial Aid advisors also helped with grants and other financial aid solutions. 

WHAT IS YOUR FAVORITE MEMORY OF SANDBURG?
I really enjoyed spending my time between classes outdoors. Carl Sandburg had an amazing landscape for people who enjoy the outdoors. I would often spend time walking trails and eating picnic lunches both on campus and off campus at nearby Lake Story. 

WHAT DID YOU DO AFTER GRADUATING FROM CARL SANDBURG COLLEGE?
I went on to attend and graduate from Western Illinois University with a Major in Law Enforcement and Justice Administration and a Minor in Sociology. I served in the Illinois Army National Guard, worked in The private security industry, corrections and law enforcement before becoming a self-employed small business owner. I now own two firearm pro shops and indoor shooting ranges(The Tac Shack), a self-defense training company(Liberty Defense Company) and an indoor Nerf dart combat arena for children(Blue Falcon Battleground). 

DO YOU HAVE ANY ADVICE FOR CURRENT STUDENTS OR FELLOW CARL SANDBURG COLLEGE ALUMNI?
It is tough to juggle all of the things that are required of a person to make it in today's society and it's not going to get any easier. Knowledge is power and higher education will always reward you by what you put into it. By that I mean, make education and studying for your desired degree a priority. It won't be easy but you will be glad that you did when you are standing there with the diploma in your hand and the feeling of accomplishment in your heart, knowing that you are about to start the journey to success. "Some people dream of success, while others wake up and work for it."

 

Check out this story on how Lipes helped save a man's life: http://www.wgil.com/2018/09/07/monmouth-business-owner-and-national-guardsman-saves-mans-life/