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College of Lake County opens new veterans lounge

GRAYSLAKE – The College of Lake County has opened a veterans lounge at the Grayslake Campus, offering military veterans – along with their families, friends and supporters – a space to socialize, study and learn about helpful community resources. Located in Room C181, the lounge is equipped with chairs, a conference table, whiteboard and a large flat-screen monitor.

“This setup is a work in progress,” said Joe Bochantin, CLC veterans student services coordinator. “In the coming months, we will be seeking input from our student veterans to determine what kinds of furniture, art and other features they would like to have in their lounge. My hope is that it will be a place where veterans, service members and their families will come together to relax, support each other and live out the motto, ‘Veterans Helping Veterans.’ The lounge also will be a place where veterans can access information about the college and community resources designed to help them adjust to the academic environment.”

The lounge, located in a room with picture windows overlooking a grass courtyard, probably will move to a larger location on the Grayslake Campus in the fall, Bochantin said.

Regardless of size, the new facility is a welcome addition for veterans, including Stephen Joseph, who has served in the U.S. Navy and has earned CLC degrees in both digital media and design and hospitality and culinary management. After working several years as a chef, Joseph now is pursuing bachelor’s and master’s degrees in social work from Northeastern Illinois University. His new career goal is to counsel veterans with emotional issues ranging from post-traumatic stress disorder to suicidal thoughts.

For information on veterans services, visit www.clcillinois.edu/multiculturalstudentcenter and click the Veteran Student Services link.

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