For many young people in our community, it's difficult to picture a future after high school. With many of our adults and families living at or below the poverty level, survival is paramount. Our families struggle to find food, shelter, and employment. High school students aren't just acquainted with these challenges - they experience them on a daily basis, some of them from childhood. For many college is a dream. By providing resources to help young people understand the college admissions process and the employment process, the Library can help our young people build strong futures for themselves.

Why College and Career Readiness?

The 2014 report card for Waukegan Public School District #60 showed that only 76% of the district's students graduate on time, compared to 86% statewide. And in 2013, a United Way of Lake County survey showed that 49% of the district's high school graduates do not enroll in a two- or four-year college within twelve to sixteen months of graduation. It became apparent that the Library was uniquely suited to provide the learning and support resources students needed to plan their post-high school futures.

College and Career Services

Waukegan Public Library's young adult services and classes support high school proficiency through tutoring, homework help, project support, mentoring and workshops in preparation for achievement in post-secondary education and/or employment. The Library's college preparation series offers classes in applying for schools, preparing for the SAT, applying for financial aid, and understanding financial aid awards. Navigating the college admissions process can be difficult for those who are first-time college students in their families. Offering these programs is a way to invest in our community by providing the support our students need to achieve their potential.

Additionally, student-driven enrichment programming develops leadership skills, celebrates creativity, and encourages exploration in hobbies and future career opportunities.