Panio Law LB November 2018

On April 30, Flossmoor resident Jay Readey was sworn onto Prairie State College’s Board of Trustees for a six-year term. He says a career of service in law and community development drew him to the PSC board. 

  Jay Ready was recently
  sworn in as a Prairie
  State College trustee.
(Official photo)

“Up until the end of 2016, I was the executive director at the Chicago Lawyers’ Committee for Civil Rights, a 50-year-old civil rights organization,” Readey recalls. “I left that position for a chance to get more involved in community development on the South Side and in the South Suburbs.”

He also says his roots at Prairie State made for a natural transition to trustee.
“Eleven years ago, I ran a summer jobs program out of the Adult Training and Opportunity Center at Prairie State, so I’ve been involved in the college for over a decade,” he explains.
Readey says while his election to trustee was built on years of professional experience and personal investment, his journey to the board was anything but linear.
“I’m actively involved in the community, and just thought this was a good way to get involved in elected office and to contribute to something I really cared about: human development,” said Readey, who has three degrees from Yale University. “When Trump was elected, it just felt like it was time to make it happen. I got in the race (for the PSC board) two years ago and learned a lot, but lost the campaign. During that process, I found support for the idea of an independent voice on the board.”
Readey said the PSC board is dominated by Bloom Township’s Unity Party and that he will be the only trustee who lives outside of Chicago Heights. 
Some board members have reason to maintain their independence but “my election was definitely a shift from the Unity Party,” he said.
Staying focused on campaign promises, Readey plans to strengthen the H-F community’s connection to the college. 
 “My campaign was based upon the idea that the interests represented on the board were too narrow,” he said. “It is a big district, and H-F High School is very important to an expanded vision of what the college can be.
“I will work to increase enrollment, retention and graduation of students of all ages and stages from Homewood and Flossmoor, throughout the district.”
Although in the minority, Readey says he is excited for the opportunity to represent the Flossmoor community, and work as a team player on the board.
“I’m not convinced that all of our community residents realize how many educational opportunities exist at PSC … and transfer smoothly to four-year schools. I want to increase those connections,” he said.
“I’m eager to work with the mayor of Chicago Heights, stakeholders of the college and the other board members. There is always an opportunity for operating in new and effective ways. We need leadership that is able to do that.”

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