Lake Forest College receives $25,000 gift for internships at Waukegan to College

Submitted by Lake Forest College

The Career Advancement Center at Lake Forest College received a $25,000 gift from an anonymous donor to fund two Lake Forest College interns annually for five years at Waukegan to College, a nonprofit that helps students get - and stay - on the path to college.

The local donor made the gift to "benefit both organizations that are so important to the future of this area, and to our country," officials said.

"This gift allows us to solidify an important relationship with a valuable internship provider," said Lisa Hinkley, Lake Forest College associate vice president for career and professional development. "Student interns at Waukegan to College are simultaneously able to strengthen their personal preparation for the steps they'll take after graduation and to help tomorrow's college students. We are grateful for the opportunity to expand this partnership."

Launched in 2009, Waukegan to College seeks to advance local students' intellectual and emotional development by establishing high academic expectations and counseling students and their families on the college admissions process. W2C helps students realize their full potential by making the dream of college a reality.

Begun in 2009 with 25 students, W2C today serves more than 140 students from fifth grade through college.

In recent years, more than a half dozen Lake Forest College students have provided critical support at W2C by serving as mentors, organizing STEM workshops, developing instructional reading materials for tutors, and even organizing a candidate forum for a local school board election.

Current intern Daisy Hernandez, '17, works on social media, press releases, and grant reporting for W2C. This is her second semester at the Waukegan-based nonprofit.

"Before I started my internship, the thought of graduating in the spring was intimidating," Hernandez said. "Now I feel more confident in myself and in the skills I have learned. It's important to me that all of my assigned tasks are meaningful to the organization, in some way."

A resident of Waukegan herself, there is a personal connection for Hernandez to the program.

"The work W2C does for Waukegan students and the community is truly unparalleled," she said. "I am proud to see that what I'm doing is helping different families in my community."

W2C Executive Director Elyse Danckers said she feels "fortunate" to have Lake Forest College students helping to grow Waukegan to College.

"These interns are able to tackle many projects that, as a small nonprofit, we might not otherwise be able to do," she said.

The college's interns also serve as great role models, Danckers said.

"They coach W2C students on strategies for academic success, such as how to study for a test or how to plan to complete a major assignment."

The $25,000 donation was made as part of ACCESS: The Campaign for Lake Forest College. To give to Lake Forest College, go to

For information on Waukegan to College, go to

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