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College educational leader named among the most influential African-Americans in Lake County

by Public Relations and Marketing | Published Feb 24, 2020

Recognized for her leadership and dedication to student development at College of Lake County (CLC), Dr. Sharon Sanders-Funnye was recently named one of the most influential African-Americans of Lake County. Director of CLC’s TRiO Educational Talent Search Scholars program, Sanders-Funnye received the 2020 Educational Leadership Award for educational excellence from Chicago People’s Voice newspaper.

Dr. Sanders-Funnye (pictured) has dedicated more than 25 years to youth development for the non-profit sector, including after school programs in the Waukegan, Zion-Benton, North Chicago and Round Lake school districts.

“I am grateful to all who assisted in making ourPhoto of Sharon Sanders-Funnye students' pursuit of postsecondary education dreams come true,” said Dr. Sanders-Funnye. “I accept the award on behalf of my students, their families and the Lake County community. As a first-generation college graduate, I am focused on building a legacy of learners who will transform their communities. I am living my dream!”

For the last 11 years, Sanders-Funnye has directed the college’s TRiO Educational Talent Search Scholars program. The federally-funded program provides college visits, tutoring, near-peer mentoring and numerous workshops for college and career preparation. The program serves students in the Lake County area, but operates within six high school campuses to target those in need.

TRiO recently engaged more than 300 eighth grade students from Waukegan, Round Lake, North Chicago and Zion at the Second Annual College and STEM Career Fair at CLC’s Grayslake Campus. Organized by TRiO ETS Specialist Fabiola Rosiles, CLC faculty, staff, students and community professionals shared their stories and advised the young students about specific career interests. The event was co-sponsored by collaborative organizations including JA-Chicago, University of Illinois – 4-H Extension, and Great Lakes Credit Union.

Prior to joining CLC, Dr. Sanders-Funnye was director of operations at Boys & Girls Club of Lake County, in partnership with Waukegan School District 60. She also worked as a scientist, manager and associate director at Kraft Foods for 16 years (now Heinz Company). Kraft Foods sponsored her volunteer work as a tutor and youth development leader in Chicago’s Lawndale community.


About College of Lake County:

The College of Lake County is a comprehensive community college committed to equitable high-quality education, cultural enrichment and partnerships to advance the diverse communities it serves in northeastern Illinois. Offered at three campuses in Grayslake, Vernon Hills and Waukegan or online, college classes are affordable and accessible to help each student achieve academic, career and personal goals. More than 70,000 students graduated with degrees and certificates since the college opened in 1969. The College of Lake County is the only higher-education institution ranked among the top 15 best places to work in Illinois by Forbes and is a national leader in many areas, including sustainability and conservation.