COLES COUNTY, Ill. (WCIA) — Mattoon Community Unit School District 2 received a fund of $5,000 for its Leaders Innovating for Tomorrow (LIFT) program, an innovation and technology center helping Illinois high schoolers develop their career paths.

LIFT offers students the opportunity to cultivate leadership skills and gain hands-on experience in different fields, including HVAC/green energy, manufacturing and construction, culinary arts, communications, childcare and information technology. With individualized and project-based learning, LIFT encourages students to align their academic studies with their career interests, preparing them for success in the professional world.

“This funding will help students all over the area through our new LIFT program,” Dan Compton, LIFT`s HVAC/green energy facilitator, said. “It will specifically help us purchase a miniature wind turbine, photovoltaic cells, and other equipment so that students will be ready for the clean energy jobs of tomorrow.”

The fund comes from the latest round of grants of the Coles Wind Community Grant Program awarded by Apex Clean Energy and Coles Wind. With the grant program aiming to build healthy communities, Apex continues to press community needs and makes a change at the local level.

“This grant is important for schools throughout the region,” Tim Condron, superintendent
of Mattoon Community Unit District 2, added. “We appreciate Coles Wind and other businesses that help students explore interests and LIFT their future. Donations like these can truly be life-
altering for students and our community.”