March 26, 2019 07:19 PM
(ABC 6 News)-- A local sheriff is opening up about his status as a non-traditional college student.
Cerro Gordo County Sheriff, Kevin Pals, wears his responsibility like a badge. “Why I got into law enforcement was to help people,” he said.
Pals has dedicated 40 years to that mission.
Now, he is inspiring others when it comes to education. “When I graduated high school I didn't have enough self-confidence to go right into colleges like a lot of students and my friends did,” said Pals.
After working in dispatch in Iowa and Minnesota for a number of years, Pals decided to go back to school. In 1999, he earned a degree in Law Enforcement at Northern Iowa Area Community College (NIACC). Pals jokes he wasn't the typical student; being older than some of his teachers. “I think it made me a better student because I knew I was paying money for it [my education] and I wanted to make sure that I passed,” he said.
Pals is not the only one in his demographic around campus at NIACC and College President, Steve Shultz, says particularly when unemployment rates go up, the school sees an influx of non-traditional students. “We have classes for people who are retired and just want to be a lifetime learner,” said Shultz, “and then we have those people who are in their 40s, 50s, and 60s who really want to take on a new skill set so they can go back into the workforce.”
“I wouldn’t change it for anything,” said Pals.
With that kind of attitude and the contributions he continues to make towards educating others at NIACC, Pals is this year’s recipient of the Outstanding Alumnus award.
“He [Pals] has been selected because of his commitment to Cerro Gordo County and because of his commitment to our Criminal Justice program,” said Shultz. “He is a frequent speaker with our students as well as an advisory board member.”
Pals will be a keynote speaker at the “Pathways to Success” luncheon at NIACC on April 5 from 11:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. There, he will receive his award.
This is not only a banner year for Pals (celebrating 40 years of service in law enforcement), it’s also a huge year for NIACC. The college is celebrating its 100th anniversary.
Created: March 26, 2019 07:19 PM
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