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Degree or certificate program at CLC and year obtained: Earned a GED at CLC in 2008; completed music and other transfer courses at CLC.

Transfer school: Trinity International University; majoring in Christian ministry with a minor in music. Plans to combine a career in campus ministry with professional singing and composing.

Hometown: Lindenhurst, Ill.

Interests and hobbies: Reading, music, art, working out.

Kedric Mabon

I used to have dreams that I’d be singing in front of crowd, and they’d sing along with me. And on Feb. 22, 2014, that dream came true when I sang a solo with the CLC Gospel Choir at CLC’s 30th Annual Salute to Gospel Music Program at the Genesee Theatre in Waukegan. I sang “I Won’t Go Back,” a popular song by gospel singer William McDowell. The song is not easy to sing, but Dr. Charles Clency (music instructor and choir director) said, “Kedric, you can do it.” After singing solo for part of the song, I spontaneously turned from the mike and said to the audience, “I want you guys to sing along.” There’s a great energy transfer that goes back and forth between singer and audience.

Besides the Gospel Choir, I’ve enjoyed CLC courses in composing, piano, music theory and fundamentals of music. I come from a musical family; my mom is a piano player and my late father (rhythm and blues singer Willie Mabon) composed “I Don’t Know” and a couple of other blues hits in the 1950s. I compose my own music and have been producing since high school. It’s great to be a returning adult student at CLC, where I can strengthen my craft and fulfill my dreams.

I also like the Philosophy of Religion class, and my instructor, Brian Smith, gets you engaged with real-life examples. I’ve learned many things about world religions that I didn’t know before, and I’ve made friends with people of different religions and philosophies. We respect each other and learn from each other how to be better people.

I’m 47. I started as city bus driver, and later was promoted to (driving) instructor. My bosses at the bus company told me to never give up on my singing and my dreams. My dad died in 1985 and didn’t have a chance to go to college, but he once said to me, “Kedric, I would love for you to go to college.” I came back to honor that.  The first step was to earn my GED, and after learning that (comedian) Bill Cosby earned a GED and eventually earned his Ph.D., I was inspired. When I went to the ceremony to receive my GED, it was awesome.  My family was so proud of me going back to school.