Circle of Friends

"Circle of Friends" is a quarterly publication of the LLCC Foundation.  To receive it via email or U.S. Mail, contact us at or call 217-786-2785.

Xitali Montoya holding a bulldog and a Yale penant on the Yale University campusFrom Beardstown, Illinois to Yale

Xitlali Montoya got a head start on her college education at Beardstown High School with LLCC dual credit courses that ultimately propelled her to attend Yale University! Dual credit courses are college-level courses taught during the high school day by a high school instructor as part of the regular teaching load. Credit earned is posted as college credit on an official LLCC transcript. Studies show that students who take college-level courses while in high school adapt more easily to college curriculum. Montoya completed 18 credit hours with straight A’s as a high school student.

Montoya set a goal to attend Yale University, a private Ivy League research university in New Haven, Connecticut. Yale, the third-oldest institution of higher education in the United States, is among the most prestigious in the world.

She knew that being accepted to Yale would be no small feat, but she wanted to live without regret and set a good example for her younger siblings. Family is her biggest motivation. “I came from a family of immigrants as my parents and grandparents all worked so hard to get to the United States,” says Montoya.

“I wanted to show them that all their hard work was worth it. My parents have five children and I want to be a good example for my younger sisters and show them anything is possible.” Montoya is also very proud of her father, an LLCC alum, who completed his degree. After taking college courses in high school, she realized she enjoyed being challenged academically and it motivated her even more to keep pursuing her dream of attending Yale.

    Montoya is grateful for her time taking Lincoln Land courses which she says were fun, challenging and rewarding. Montoya’s LLCC friends continue to cheer her on and congratulate her on tackling big dreams!