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CLC receives donation to help African American women obtain their high school equivalency diploma

by Public Relations and Marketing | Published Nov 01, 2021

Thanks to a $2,000 donation from Women of Destiny Lake County chapter, College of Lake County (CLC) will help pay testing costs for African American women pursuing a high school equivalency (HSE) diploma. There are two approved HSE tests in Illinois—GED or HiSET—students can take and prepare for. CLC offers free preparatory classes for these two tests, and this donation will help students pay for the HSE tests which can cost over $100.

Photo of the Adult Education program receiving the donation check at an event“We discovered a gap in the community and wanted to try to remove it,” said Nakisha Ball, Executive Director of Women of Destiny Lake County. “There are a lot of women of African American descent in our community that are not fortunate to have any extra support.”

“This donation helps remove one more barrier for adult learners achieving any goal they might have, whether it’s getting a HSE diploma or going to college,” said Dr. Arlene Santos-George, Dean of Adult Education and ESL. “They can receive scholarships for college, but they need their HSE credential first as a requirement for many college programs.”

CLC offers free HSE preparatory classes, both online and in-person, to those looking to take the GED or HiSET tests. These adult secondary education courses teach reading, writing, math, science and social studies to prepare students for the different sections of the tests. Students ready to take the GED and HiSET tests can go to the CLC Testing Centers at Lakeshore-Waukegan and Grayslake Campuses or other HSE testing centers.

Most students who pursue HSE degrees at CLC are low-income. Nearly 10 percent of adult basic and secondary education program students are African American women.

“This decision was made with careful consideration and thoughtfulness,” Ball said. “We took a lot of details into account when coming up with the specified group of individuals this scholarship is geared toward. We understand how hard it can be to accomplish that one goal while also managing a full-time job and, for most, being a full-time single mother. We understand sometimes that leads to not having any extra funds for much else.”

Find more information about the CLC’s Adult Education and ESL Division program at or call 847-543-2485.

About College of Lake County

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. 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.