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Lake County Community Foundation to host author Paul Schmitz on Jan. 16

WAUKEGAN – For some, Lake County is synonymous with the affluent suburbs of Chicago’s North Shore, yet this is a far cry from the reality that many of the communities that make up this area face.

It is estimated that about 9% of the population in Lake County lives below the poverty line. In Waukegan, where The Lake County Community Foundation is headquartered, the poverty rate is almost 18%, and in neighboring North Chicago, it reaches more than 23%. 

To raise awareness of this issue during National Poverty Awareness Month and in recognition of Lake County Poverty Awareness Day on Jan. 23, The Lake County Community Foundation, in partnership with University Center of Lake County, the College of Lake County, and William Blair is hosting “Engage Lake County: A Community Conversation to Inspire Action.” Taking place from 5:30 to 7:30 p.m. Jan. 16 at the University Center, 1200 University Center Drive, Grayslake, LCCF and partners will welcome Paul Schmitz, the nationally acclaimed author of “Everyone Leads: Building Leadership from the Community Up,” as the keynote speaker. Schmitz is an author, speaker, trainer and consultant whose work focuses on leadership development, collaborative culture, racial equity, community engagement and result-based strategies. In his roles as senior adviser at The Collective Impact Forum and CEO of Leading Inside Out, Schmitz builds the collective leadership of organizations and communities to achieve greater social impact.

In addition to Schmitz’s keynote address, the event will feature a meet and greet with the author, a book signing and a volunteer fair for participants interested in making a difference in their communities.

The event is open to the public. Tickets are $20 each or $35 for two tickets and include Schmitz’s discussion, entry into the volunteer fair, drinks and light appetizers. For information about the event or to register, visit, email Emily at or call 847-377-0520.  

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