Viktoriia Martin’s dream is to combine mental and physical health practices with a focus on women’s health and neuropsychology. She has completed her Associate in Arts degree and is pursuing her Master’s degree in Counseling Psychology while simultaneously pursuing a Health and Wellness Associate degree. She is a P.T. Aide at two medical therapy locations and last year, completed an internship with IBJI Health Performance Institute. She would also like to provide free counseling services to first responders.
Donna Fielder has completed the requirements and earned her Medical Assistant degree. She is currently pursuing a degree in Health Care Management while working full-time in a physician’s office providing direct patient care and clerical support. Completion of her degree will allow her to take on additional responsibilities such as patient billing and procedural coding. Despite contracting COVID in early 2021, Donna has maintained a 3.66 GPA.
Marlen Retana is returning to school in order to improve her written communication skills. She was recently promoted to an assistant manager position with her employer.
Jessica Rybandt is pursuing a career as a surgical nurse. She intends to continue her education beyond CLC in pursuit of her Bachelor's Degree.
Rebecca Galvez is pursuing a career in medical imaging. She then hopes to be accepted into a Physician's Assistant program after completing her Bachelor's Degree.
Melissa Withem-Voss is pursuing a degree in Hospitality and Culinary Management with a goal of working in a resort/hotel or country club setting.
Irene Jackson is pursuing a Nursing degree and plans to obtain her Master of Science in Nursing degree in order to become a nursing administrator.
Christine Laspisa is also pursuing a degree in Nursing and plans to become a labor & delivery or neo-natal intensive care nurse.
As a little girl, Lisette Corona's dream was to work in the healthcare field. She expects to complete her nursing degree in the summer of 2020. Lisette is the oldest of her siblings and grew up in a violent neighborhood filled with gangs and drugs. She recognized it as a challenge to overcome herbackground and become a role model for the teens in the city in which she grew up, proving that it is possible to make something of your life if you are willing to work hard.
Cassie Avila is pursuing a degree in Nursing, which she expects to complete in May of 2020. Her Dad has been her primary role model as she has met the challenges of attending school while continuing to care for her family and remain active in her community.
Victoria Lang & Cortney Bond -- Congratulations!
Cortney is a bright, vivacious young woman who is pursuing a degree in Nursing. Her mentor and role model is her Grandma Polly who has never failed to provide Cortney with her wisdom through her simple philosophy of life. Cortney maintains an impressive grade point average while working full-time and caring for her young family.
Sabah Othman is pursuing a degree in Health Information Technology.
Maria Elizarraraz is pursuing a degree in Social Work.
Neeru Kaur Singh is a single mother who has worked to overcome emotional and financial struggles. Although she has a prior degree in accounting, Neeru found that the best way to care for her young son on her own was to find part-time work at his school. She also decided to return to school and pursue dual certificate courses for medical billing specialist and massage therapy at CLC. While studying and working, when has also devoted an extraordinary amount of time voluntarily helping to run the condo association where she lives, and has served three years as treasurer on its board of director.
Renata Zikeviciute, a 33-year old single woman, came to the United States on her own from Lithuania at the age of 20. After working as a cleaning lady and babysitter, she finally found work as a dental assistant, which opened her eyes to her dream goal of pursuing a career in dental hygiene. While working, studying, and maintaining a high GPA, Renata manages to find time to raise funds for a foundation she and her cousin created after her aunt’s death from cancer. Although she is on course to obtain her license and Associates Degree, she would also like to pursue a bachelor’s degree in dental hygiene in the future.
Note From Tracy Castro:
Dear Lake County Women's Coalition,
My final class at the College of Lake County wrapped up at the end of July and last week I received my Associate in Arts degree.
As a 2013 recipient of the Lake County Women’s Coalition Scholarship, I hope to share this update with its members. Along the way, the daily duties weighing upon me and fellow mature students can make our educational goals seem out of reach. These scholarships mean more than dollars — they offer encouragement that helps us push forward when we want to stop. Please send my thanks to the membership, again, for doing that for me.
I am now two weeks into Southern Illinois University’s Workplace Education and Development program and looking forward to receiving my Bachelor of Science!
Have a wonderful day.
Angela Kelly grew up in Chicago. After graduating from Notre Dame High School for girls, she decided to join the United States Navy. As a U.S. Veteran she feels lucky to have served our Country in a time of peace. She is the single mother of three teenage children and currently attends CLC taking three courses this semester. Her goal is to receive a Bachelor's degree in Psychology and continue to pursue her education in Nursing. She would like to be a nurse and work at a Veterans Hospital. She believes that supporting the Veterans who have served in conflicts is very important. She hopes to one day make a difference in the lives of these most important Veterans.
Melissa Jurik is a wife, mother of three, and a full-time college student in the Paralegal Studies Program at CLC. She returned to college in 2010 after an eleven-year break, when her oldest daughter told her that her aspiration in life was to become a bartender just like Melissa. At that moment she realized it was time to become a better role model to show her children that college is very important and it is never too late to secure your future by going to college. In addition to her family, homework and two part-time jobs (as a bartender and a Student Ambassador at CLC), she has completed the Emerging Leaders Program offered at CLC; she is the acting co-president of the Pupils of Paralegal Studies Club, and a member of Phi Theta Kappa Honor Society.
When Teresa Williams was but a girl, she imagined a future filled with hope and promise, but then her life took an unexpected turn and she was forced to put her dreams on hold. Her story is not unique as it tells the story of women all over the world. Throughout her struggle she never lost sight of the desire to pursue education. In 2004, she began the 6-year commitment to obtain an Associates Degree as a non-traditional student. Teresa achieved that goal, with honors from CLC, in 2010. She is now pursuing a Bachelor's Degree in Business Administration with minor in Non-Profit Management at the University Center in Grayslake, IL through satellite classes offered by North Park University. She would like to encourage all those seeking to improve their lives to hold on to your dreams, no matter what comes your way. Someone, like the angels at the Lake County Women's Coalition, will find their way into your life. She wants to thank all the organizations that make up the Lake County Women's Coalition for the blessings they provide. This monetary award allows her to move forward, reaching for the hope and promise she lost as a girl.
Carrie Effinger is a divorced mother of a son and hopes that her college aspirations provide a good example for him. Carrie started factory work when she was 16. When she lost her job at that company she knew she wanted to get into a field with a better career outlook. She is now involved with the Surgical Technology program at CLC.
Leslie Jackson also a divorced mother is pursuing a degree in Office Applications. She was in that business with her husband who left the family in 2007. Leslie lost her home, her car, the family's income. She is concerned about employment to provide for her children.