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Envision Scholars

  • Envision Scholars
  • 1011 Washington St.
  • Waukegan, IL 60085
  • (847) 220-4551
  • 2011

Program Description

Envision Scholars fosters the personal, collegiate, and professional success of highly meritorious, college-ready first-generation college students with demonstrated financial need. We offer a comprehensive array of college readiness and persistence programming that employs best practices in assuring students complete their baccalaureate and move on to successful graduate school studies or careers immediately after receiving their bachelor's degrees.

We select students at the end of junior year, provide them with intensive summer programming and assign as their mentors successful professionals who were first-generation college students themselves.

Below are the minimum criteria which make someone eligible to become an Envision Scholar:

Participation in a college readiness program (Waukegan 2 College, Waukegan High School College Studies Program, AVID, Educational Talent Search, Gear Up's Principal's Scholars Program) or recommendation of a Waukegan High School counselor

Rigorous coursework - participation in Honors or AP class during 11th/12th grades, coursework of 5 or more academic courses/year during 11th/12th grades

Minimum GPA of 2.5/4.0 unweighted for the most recent 3 semesters of high school

Demonstrated financial need

First-generation college student

Desire to go to a four-year college immediately after high school

Our evaluation criteria in priority order are as follows:

1. Overcoming obstacles, hardship, personal story

2. Individual determination to succeed: grit, resilience, fortitude

3. Desire to positively impact society (demonstration of giving back, community service)

4. Self-motivation in completing challenging coursework

5. Leadership capacity/potential/demonstrated skills

6. Academic merit: must be able to graduate from a 4-year college

7. Future goals and plans to achieve them

8. Students who might otherwise not get recognition or assistance

We are particularly interested in identifying those young people who have yet to fully shine. We hope to recognize some of Waukegan High School's unsung heroes, young people whose accomplishments and contributions may have gone unheralded.

Through the Envision Scholars Foundation, we seek to create what Andrew Carnegie referred to as "real and permanent good." By assisting low-income, first-generation college students who are highly meritorious and poised for collegiate success, we make a multi-generational, transformative impact on society. College graduates produce college graduates and light the path for their younger siblings, cousins and others in their neighborhood to follow. Advancement and contribution replace generational poverty and bring us closer to realizing America's promise.

Services Provided

  • Academic enrichment/tutoring/study skills
  • Arts and cultural
  • Career exploration and counseling/internships
  • College admissions guidance and counseling
  • College fairs/campus visits
  • College transition and retention support
  • Community service/service hours
  • Financial aid advising/FAFSA completion
  • Leadership development
  • Mentoring
  • Parent/family services
  • SAT/ACT and other test preparation
  • Scholarships and last-dollar grants
  • Science, tech, engineering, & math (STEM)


Education Level and
Number of Students

  • High School: 30
  • Middle School: 0
  • Elementary School: 0
  • Post-secondary: 26
  • Non-traditional: 0

Populations Served

  • Academically At-risk
  • Academically High-performing
  • ESL Students
  • Undocumented Students (12)


  • More than 75%

Colleges Attended
by Alumni

  • Bucknell University
  • Carroll University
  • Cornell College
  • Eastern Illinois University
  • Illinois Institute of Technology
  • Lafayette College
  • Lake Forest College
  • Marquette University
  • McKendree University
  • Northern Illinois University
  • Sewanee-The University of the South
  • St. Norbert College
  • University of Illinois at Chicago
  • University of Illinois at Springfield
  • University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
  • Western Illinois University