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TRiO program, Buffalo Grove Park District jointly awarded for career event

by Public Relations and Marketing | Published Nov 12, 2019

The College of Lake County’s TRiO Educational Talent Search Scholars Program, along with the Buffalo Grove Park District, were named co-winners Nov. 1 of a Best-of-the-Best Partnership Award, in the non-governmental category, from the Illinois Association of Park Districts.  

Both CLC and the park district were recognized for jointly creating an annual Career Discovery Day at the Buffalo Grove Park District since 2017. The event has allowed nearly 400 underrepresented high-school students from Lake County to visit Buffalo Photo of Sharon Sanders-Funnye holding an awardGrove's Raupp Museum, parks, community art center and fitness centers to learn about careers in the park and recreation field, according to Dr. Sharon Sanders-Funnye, CLC director of Educational Talent Search Grants. The long-term equity and inclusion goal of the project is to increase underrepresented minorities in full-time employment in the parks and recreation field, added Sanders-Funnye. She spearheaded and coordinated the project with Debbie Fandrei, Raupp Museum curator for the Buffalo Grove Park District. 

Photo: From left, Dr. Sharon Sanders-Funnye, CLC director of Educational Talent Search Grants, displays a Best-of-the Best Partnership Award from the Illinois Association of Park Districts for a joint career-day project with the Buffalo Grove Park District. Accompanying her is Fabiola Rosiles, a former ETS Scholar at Round Lake High School and currently a Waukegan High School student services specialist who has accompanied students on park district visits. 

“Our annual student surveys indicate ETS scholars were not aware of the available career opportunities prior to the visits, but they expressed interest in learning more about these types of careers,” said Sanders-Funnye, explaining the rationale for the project. “Following each Career Discovery Day, the scholars said they wanted to participate in the event again, and they would recommend the experience to their peers.” 

Federally funded, with assistance from CLC, the TRiO Educational Talent Search Scholars program is a pre-college educational offering, serving students at target high schools such as Zion-Benton, North Chicago, Round Lake, Waukegan and other Lake County area schools.  

Based in Springfield, the Illinois Association of Park Districts is a statewide organization representing more than 450 park, recreation and conservation organizations and corporate members.  


About College of Lake County

The College of Lake County is a comprehensive community college that delivers high-quality, accessible learning opportunities to advance student success and strengthen the diversecommunities served in the northeastern suburbs of Chicago. The flagship campus is located in Grayslake, with additional campuses in Waukegan (Lakeshore) and Vernon Hills (Southlake). The college also offers online courses. For details on CLC, visit