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Transform Lake County program a launch pad to success

GRAYSLAKE – 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, 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 completely free in pursuit of a short-term program.

Besides free tuition, textbooks and fees, Hollimon received a stipend that she was able to use to pay for additional expenses, including transportation, child care and other items to keep her on track during school. She said without the financial help, it would have been a dream deferred.

“Going through courses with the same students, instructor and material facilitated a strong bond,” Hollimon said in a news release. “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. In addition to a college certificate, students receive career advice to help with résumé 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 what kind of résumés 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 a bachelor’s degree in business administration at the University Center of Lake County, which is located at the Grayslake CLC campus. 

“Transform Lake County gave me more confidence,” Hollimon said. “I am very grateful this program helped me grow, not just in intellect, but as a person.”  

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