Waukegan to College creates brighter futures for students, families, and communities by preparing students to enroll in and graduate from college.

Why Waukegan to College (W2C)?

They believe that all students who have big dreams for their future and are willing to work hard should have a shot at college. They help families who are committed to creating brighter futures for their children by providing them with a unique variety of resources to help their children get on and stay on the path to college. For more information click here.W2C Graduates

How can you help:

Would you like to change the life of a disadvantaged student in Waukegan?  The college-readiness program, Waukegan to College (W2C) is looking for you!  Several opportunities for the school year are waiting for you right now.

1) Saturday Morning Tutoring:

Saturday mornings from 9am to noon, W2C needs tutors in all subjects for its students in 5th-12th grade.  Volunteers can commit to as little as one to three hours per week during the school year.  W2C strives to pair the same tutor/student each week to build a relationship, so regular attendance is important (although substitutes can be found for occasional absences).  Volunteers who cannot make the weekly commitment can be placed on the substitute list.  Minimum volunteer age is 14.

2) Read to Achieve:

Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursdays from 4-7pm at the Waukegan Public Library, volunteers work with 1-3 students for 45 minutes each for one or more days a week.  Students read aloud while the volunteer checks comprehension. This is a semester-long commitment and consistent attendance is important.  Minimum volunteer age is 14.

3) Coaching/Mentoring:

Male coaches especially needed.  Five or more students waiting!  Each volunteer coach is paired with a student and meets with them monthly for an hour or two to discuss academic progress, goal setting and strategy. Coaches of juniors and seniors focus on college-related activities and may engage in more intensive work with the student.  Optional coaches’ workshops are available for support.  This is a long-term commitment extending from whenever the volunteer starts to when the student is in college.  Mentors should be college graduates themselves and settled in the area so that they are likely to be around for the necessary duration.


W2C is located at 410 Grand Avenue in Waukegan.  It is an easy walk from the Metra North train line and is housed in Christ Episcopal Church of Waukegan.  Alternatively, the drive there is easy and parking is plentiful.

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For more information, please contact Christ Church member Christine Peterson at 847-835-9261, christinepeterson@comcast.net.

Or feel free to directly contact W2C Executive Director Elyse Danckers at 630-306-5512 or elyse.danckers@yahoo.com.

W2C supporters

Christ Church Comments:

This is a great organization, selected for support by Episcopal Charities and reviewed and supported by Christ Church Benevolence.  With a tiny staff and shoestring budget this organization is making a huge difference in the lives of the (frequently first generation) families in Waukegan. W2C offers wraparound educational services to its students and their parents and has a long wait list of families who would like to participate as W2C acquires more resources to grow.

Christ Church Experiences:

Kevin Walsh (Career Day participant):  “I really enjoyed the experience.  Thanks for providing the opportunity….  The kids were grouped by age and spent around 20 minutes at each table.  They were very polite and did a great job asking questions.  Impressive considering it was a beautiful Saturday….  I highly recommend getting involved and would be happy to help in the future.”

Liza Peterson (STEM enrichment presentation):  “It was great getting to meet the Waukegan to College kids and staff.”  For my after-school presentation, there were about 20 kids there, all from different school districts. We had fun talking about scientific research in college, exploring my own area of research on tomato bacterial wilt disease, and trying out some scientific methods.  I hope our talk inspired a few more kids to consider a future in science!”

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