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Launch pad to success transforms Lake County

by Public Relations and Marketing | Published Jun 01, 2020

In pursuit of a college education and career, Candis Hollimon became an inaugural member of the Transform Lake County program at College of Lake County (CLC), an opportunity provided by a $1.5 million Illinois Workforce Equity Initiative grant. She was one of nearly 200 students selected from thousands of applicants to attend classes at CLC in pursuit of a short-term program, completely free.  

Besides for free tuition, textbooks and fees, Hollimon also received a stipend that she was able to use to pay for additional expenses including transportation, childcare and other items to keep her on track during school. She says without the financial help, this would have been a dream deferred.  

Hollimon with fellow Transform Lake County studentsPhoto: Hollimon is one of the Transform Lake County students who will soon enter the workforce with new skills thanks to a $1.5M Illinois Workforce Equity Initiative grant. Hollimon joined a cohort of fellow Transform Lake County students who studied Administrative Management Technology together, like a small family.  

“Going through courses with the same students, instructor and material facilitated a strong bond,” said Hollimon. “The environment of the class fostered accountability and encouragement.”  

The goal of the Transform Lake County program is to prepare residents in Lake County to fill much needed workforce opportunities. Besides for a college certificate, students receive career advice to help with resume writing, mock interviews, job site visits and job fairs.  

“Working and collaborating with different personalities, work ethics and perspectives helps to mimic the workplace,” Hollimon said. “The class also helped me better understand of what kind of resumes and cover letters are expected in the current job market.” 

Hollimon will work with career coaches to find a job after she completes her certificate this summer. She hopes to pursue her bachelor’s degree in business administration at the University Center of Lake County, conveniently located at the Grayslake CLC campus. 

“Transform Lake County gave me more confidence,” Hollimon reflects. “I am very grateful this program helped me grow, not just in intellect, but as a person.”  

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.