Launch pad to success transforms Lake County
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.
"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."