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Jessica Lillie, a talented young singer, songwriter and guitar player, shares her musical talents as Lillie Lemon in performances throughout the Midwest. Now, the senior writing major is using her Lakeland Honors Program project to showcase the talents of other Lakeland students with a broader audience.
After talking with Lakeland professors Alan Mock and Rick Dodgson about ways to develop a community where people could connect and share their talents, it sparked the idea for Lillie's honors project. "I started thinking, what about the art department students?" Lillie said. "What about writing students? What about other students on campus that could be more involved in the community but aren't? It's easy for musicians to participate in open-mic nights or get gigs at area coffee houses, but for visual artists, finding those outlets isn't as easy."
The centerpiece of her honors project is an exhibit she is organizing this spring at Sheboygan coffee house Paradigm Coffee & Music that will feature works by Lakeland writing and fine arts students.
For Lillie, it's all about seeing and taking advantage of opportunities. The Illinois native is making the most of her Lakeland experience. She is editor-in-chief of the Lakeland College Mirror, a writing tutor, a resident assistant at Krueger Hall and a leader in a new student organization called Project BURRN (Burmese United Refugee Relief Network).
"You get out of Lakeland College what you put in," Lillie said. "There are so many good things to experience here, but you can only experience them if you try."
Lillie's showcase will provide students an opportunity to become engaged with the community, and will provide the community an opportunity to learn more about the college.
"It's important to get people involved in their community," Lillie said. "If I am helping students see the opportunities that are out there, that's great. I believe in karma. If you do good things for people, it will come back to you at some point. It's not about getting rich; it's about enriching my life by helping others."