Our History

What We've Done:


April 16, 2009
At the Fourth Annual Meeting, LCASC co-presidents, Representative Kathy Ryg and Chief Raymond Rose, spoke to community leaders from across Lake County about the recent successes of the Coalition. The Lake County Underage Drinking Prevention Task Force and the Youth Empowerment Summit-Be the Change! have had significant impact demonstrating the effectiveness of the Coalition in responding to community needs with community resources and engaging and empowering our kids. Representative Ryg also spoke of the support that the coalition has received from their business partners, the Northern Illinois Collaboration (NIC), who have supported LCASC's efforts and are focusing on afterschool and youth development as a priority. Their financial support has enabled LCASC to fund a part-time coordinator to manage the programs and activities which support positive youth development on a county-wide basis. The partnership with NIC, which includes Abbott Laboratories, Allstate Insurance, Baxter Healthcare, and Hewitt Associates, has taken the coalition's efforts to a new level.
Other successes which occurred since the last annual meeting include the merging of coalition efforts with Character Matters of Lake County (CMLC). CMLC, which is dedicated to encouraging schools, businesses and communities throughout Lake County to promote basic ethic values, is now part of the larger mission of the LCASC. Another success is that the Illinois Department of Human Services has funded the Illinois Strategic Prevention Framework Grant resulting in the STAND-UP program (Standing Up Against Underage Drinking Through Prevention). The focus is to assess underage drinking consumption and collect data, build Task Force capacity to maximize community-wide impact, and develop an initial, community-wide strategic plan to combat underage drinking, following the federal Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration's Strategic Prevention Framework process. The LCASC was featured at the Statewide Afterschool Networks Annual Meeting in Tucson, Arizona.
Northern Illinois Collaboration business partners also hosted on-site presentations at Abbott, Allstate, Baxter and Hewitt featuring an expert panel on underage drinking prevention and the effects of substance use on youth. Power point presentations offered the Lake County data as collected as part of the Illinois Youth Survey demonstrating the need for awareness, prevention and early intervention efforts in our own communities.
Justice Mary Seminara Schostok, 2nd District Appellate Court, was this year's keynote speaker. She has served as an Assistant State's Attorney in the Lake County State's Attorney Office. Justice Seminara Schostok's service on the bench began in May 1998 when she was appointed to serve as an Associate Judge in the 19th Judicial Circuit Court. During her 10-year tenure as a Circuit Judge, Justice Seminara Schostok presided over both criminal and civil matters, and supervised the Juvenile Division, the Misdemeanor and Traffic Divisions, and the Law Division. She spoke at the meeting about the importance of underage drinking prevention through education.
As a result of its innovative work and dynamic contributions, the LCASC is viewed as an effective after school program coalition model that is being replicated throughout Illinois. Many of the youth organizations supported by the Lake County After School Coalition shared program highlights and information at displays throughout the meeting room. Students who participated in the 2nd Annual Youth Empowerment Summit-Be the Change! recapped the successful event and talked about the ongoing issues affecting youth today.
At the conclusion of the meeting, new nominations to the board were announced and subsequently voted on.
The Board of Directors includes:

Judy Armstrong: Village of Round Lake Beach
Jennifer Tempest-Bova: Woodland Community Cons. School Dist. 50
Shirley Christian: Avon Township Youth Advisory Board
Carolina Duque: Mano a Mano Family Resource Center
Jeremy Foster: Big Brothers Big Sisters of Lake County
Pat Garrity: Lake County Health Department/Community Health Center
JoAnn Jakubowski: Southlake Educational Center/ College of Lake County
Adrienne Schwarzbach Johnson: Community Member
Bruce Johnson: Nicasa
Claudia Kasten: Lake County State's Attorney Office
Susie Kuruvilla: Gurnee Park District
Theresa Loerch: Office of State Representative Kathy Ryg, District 59
Peggy Miller: College of Lake County - Judicial Services
Gary Pickens: Lake County Regional Office of Education
Margaret Resnick: Mundelein Park District
Raymond Rose: Chief, Mundelein Police Department
Kathy Ryg: State Representative, District 59
Ashley Ward: Charmm'd Foundation
Connie Willegal: Girl Scouts of Greater Chicago & Northwest Indiana

Click here to access and read the "Success Stories" which were shared by participants from the 4th Annual Meeting.

November 6, 2008
The LCASC's 2nd Annual Youth Empowerment Summit "Be the Change!" was held November 6, 2008 at Hewitt Associates in Lincolnshire and was attended by over 100 seventh and eighth grade students from 19 schools in Lake County. This year's theme was chosen by the youth leaders and participants and was entitled "How to Deal with Stress." Annie Fox, an internationally known adolescent stress management expert and author of such books as Too Stressed to Think, was the keynote speaker. She has made it her life's work to help teens make positive and healthy choices to reach their potential. Ms. Fox outlined different coping skills for the students to utilize in a variety of stressful situations. She then encouraged them to take these same skills back to their schools to help other students decrease stress in their own lives as well as to create a calm school environment.
Important to note is that for the first time in the Coalition's history, the corporate world has recognized the importance of the LCASC mission, opened their doors to us, and embraced the cause. This will be truly impactful on the youth as they get this small glimpse into corporate life.

April 3, 2008
A grant was awarded to the Lake County Underage Drinking Prevention Task Force, which is supported by the Lake County After School Coalition and the Lake County Chiefs of Police Association, to host a town hall meeting on the topic of prevention of underage drinking. The grant was sponsored by the Interagency Coordinating Committee on the Prevention of Underage Drinking, the task force joined over 1,600 communities nationwide to hold a meeting on this issue.
The goals of the town hall meeting are to increase the understanding of underage drinking and its consequences and to encourage individuals, families and communities to address the problem. The format included a short program, including highlights from the Lake County results of the Illinois Youth Survey, and small group discussions on how to reduce youth access to alcohol with the focus on retail and social sources (i.e. homes, parties, etc.), and suggestions for prevention messages for a media campaign.

Suggestions for reducing youth access to alcohol include:

Retail sources:


  • More fines on municipal level to establishments that sell alcohol to minors (consequence)
  • Harsh penalties for making/distributing/using a Fake ID
  • Require Beverage Alcohol Sellers and Servers Education and Training for anyone who sells or serves alcohol
  • Monitor liquor placement at stores
Social sources:
  • Educate kids and parents about the physical consequences of alcohol abuse (health, psychological, sex)
  • Lock up home alcohol
  • Monitor garage supply of alcohol
  • Harsh punishment/penalty for parents who "host" parties
  • Alcohol orientation for parents
The leadership of the task force is reviewing all the notes from small group discussions; as well as a variety of data from sources such as youth surveys, law enforcement agencies, hospitals, and parents as it develops next steps. The enforcement committee continues to coordinate alcohol compliance checks quarterly for all law enforcement agencies within Lake County, and can also help departments find additional resources to participate in this effort.
The Lake County Underage Drinking Prevention Task Force meets on the 3rd Thursday of the month at 8 a.m. at the Mundelein Police Department.

October 4, 2007

Community leaders from across Lake County gathered at the 3rd Annual Meeting to recognize and celebrate the continued efforts of the Lake County After School Coalition (LCASC). The goals of this meeting were to continue the momentum of the LCASC, increase membership, elect new board members and officers, and feature the youth of Lake County.
The coalition's co-president, Mundelein Police Chief Ray Rose, spoke about the county-wide efforts of the newly formed Underage Drinking Prevention Task Force, which combines the support of the Lake County After School Coalition with the Lake County Chiefs of Police Association. Chief Rose also touched on the steps being taken in Mundelein to educate residents through town hall meetings and boost local enforcement (pulling business' liquor licenses, increasing penalties for parents who allow their kids access to alcohol, etc.). The time to protect our children is now and these action steps can be duplicated in other communities throughout Lake County.
The keynote speaker at the meeting was Chicago Bears' chaplain, Harry Swayne, who shared his impassioned story about the relationship he had with his father and how it ultimately shaped the man he is today. The influence that parents have on their children, both positive and negative, is an awesome responsibility and one not to be taken lightly. Working together with each community, the Lake County After School Coalition can continue to be a leader in truly meeting children's needs. You could have heard a pin drop in the room as Mr. Swayne concluded his presentation; his message of "success to significance" was moving and invaluable.
Young people who attended the first Youth Empowerment Summit: Be the Change! this spring shared their favorite highlights from the event. Both the youth team leaders and the student participants spoke of the lessons they learned and the powerful messages that they brought back to their schools. Several youth organizations that are supported by the Lake County After School Coalition had information booths displayed throughout the meeting.
At the conclusion of the meeting, new nominations to the board were announced and subsequently voted on.
The Board of Directors includes:

Judy Armstrong: Village of Round Lake Beach
Jennifer Tempest-Bova: Woodland Community Cons. School Dist. 50
Shirley Christian: Avon Township Youth Advisory Board
Carolina Duque: Mano a Mano Family Resource Center
Jeremy Foster: Big Brothers Big Sisters of Lake County
Pat Garrity: Lake County Health Department/Community Health Center
JoAnn Jakubowski: Southlake Educational Center/ College of Lake County
Adrienne Schwarzbach Johnson: Community Member
Bruce Johnson: Nicasa
Claudia Kasten: Lake County State's Attorney Office
Susie Kuruvilla: Gurnee Park District
Theresa Loerch: Office of State Representative Kathy Ryg, District 59
Peggy Miller: College of Lake County - Judicial Services
Gary Pickens: Lake County Regional Office of Education
Margaret Resnick: Mundelein Park District
Raymond Rose: Chief, Mundelein Police Department
Kathy Ryg: State Representative, District 59
Ashley Ward: Charmm'd Foundation
Connie Willegal: Girl Scouts of Greater Chicago & Northwest Indiana

Click here to access and read the "Success Stories" which were shared by participants from the 4th Annual Meeting.

April 12, 2007

State legislators, community leaders and residents of Lake County gathered at Stevenson High School for a discussion addressing the growing problem of substance use in our community, specifically underage drinking.
Sobering statistics from the Lake County portion of the 2006 Illinois Youth Survey show that 13% of 6th graders, 23% of 8th graders, 39% of 10th graders, and 58% of 12th graders had consumed alcohol in the month prior to taking this survey. Forum topics included strategies to address the problem of underage drinking, the legislative initiative to ban the marketing of Alcopops to youth, and highlights from local coalitions and task forces which are currently addressing underage drinking in Lake County.

April 10, 2007

The LCASC's first Youth Empowerment Summit, entitled "Be the Change!" was held April 10th at the Crowne Plaza Hotel in Mundelein and was attended by 131 seventh and eighth grade students from all over Lake County. This Summit offered students the opportunity to recognize the significant role they can play in making their community a better place to live. They engaged in a series of activities to teach them various strategies they can use to deal with common adolescent issues including self image, drug abuse prevention, and relationships. The organizational methods and leadership skills they learned in these break out sessions will help them motivate and encourage other teens in their schools and communities to join them in adopting positive solutions. Students were inspired throughout the day by motivational speaker, Kevin Wanzer, as he challenged them to become role models in their schools and in their communities. Mr. Wanzer has reached out to countless students, educators and parents alike with his message of how to make a difference, how to stay strong and how to make healthy choices.
October 5, 2006

The 2nd Annual Meeting of the coalition included an audience of educators, representatives from social service agencies, program staff, volunteers, and school and faith-based organizations. The purpose of this meeting was to recognize accomplishments and build on the successes of the past year, collect ideas on how the coalition can assist existing and new after school programs, and elect new board of directors' members.
The program also featured a videotaped message from Senator Barack Obama praising the past efforts and successes of the LCASC and lending his support and encouragement as the Coalition continues to move forward. Sen. Obama recognized the importance of strong after school programs and activities being available to young people to keep them focused and on the right track.
The keynote speaker at the meeting was NBC5 Investigative reporter, Carol Marin, who spoke about the recent rash of school shootings and how important it is for everyone to be aware and involved so that these tragedies can be stopped. Ms. Marin presented a video of an interview she conducted with a teenage boy who was responsible for a 1998 school shooting in Alaska. There were many warning signs and had people recognized them and come forward, this Alaskan tragedy may have been avoided. The main message Ms. Marin conveyed was someone almost always knows beforehand. It is the combined responsibility of parents, educators, law enforcement and the community to make sure that warning signs are taken seriously and preventive actions are immediate. The efforts of the LCASC are crucially important when reinforcing this message to the youth in our community.
Several members of the Youth Advisory Committee spoke on the issues affecting young people today and their continued efforts in organizing a Youth Summit in 2007. Ms. Marin recognized the students in attendance and commended them on their commitment to participating in positive after school activities. Several youth organizations that are supported by the Lake County After School Coalition had information booths displayed throughout the meeting.
Other highlights included State Rep. Ruth Munson describing the efforts of the Northern Fox Valley After School Network modeled after the successes of the LCASC.
At the conclusion of the meeting, new nominations to the board were announced and subsequently voted on.
The Board of Directors includes:

Judy Armstrong: Village of Round Lake Beach
Jennifer Tempest-Bova: Woodland Community Cons. School Dist. 50
Shirley Christian: Avon Township Youth Advisory Board
Carolina Duque: Mano a Mano Family Resource Center
Jeremy Foster: Big Brothers Big Sisters of Lake County
Pat Garrity: Lake County Health Department/Community Health Center
JoAnn Jakubowski: Southlake Educational Center/ College of Lake County
Adrienne Schwarzbach Johnson: Community Member
Bruce Johnson: Nicasa
Claudia Kasten: Lake County State's Attorney Office
Susie Kuruvilla: Gurnee Park District
Theresa Loerch: Office of State Representative Kathy Ryg, District 59
Peggy Miller: College of Lake County - Judicial Services
Gary Pickens: Lake County Regional Office of Education
Margaret Resnick: Mundelein Park District
Raymond Rose: Chief, Mundelein Police Department
Kathy Ryg: State Representative, District 59
Ashley Ward: Charmm'd Foundation
Connie Willegal: Girl Scouts of Greater Chicago & Northwest Indiana


April 25, 2006

A follow-up town hall meeting was conducted to prioritize needs and solutions as well as to develop an action plan that would be applicable to Lake County to guide the coalition regarding underage drinking prevention. At the initial town hall meeting held on April 11, 2006 participants were asked to identify the #1 problem related to underage drinking and three possible solutions.
The format included a personal story of alcohol addiction from a local teen recovering from drug and alcohol abuse and his family; then a power point presentation including the top 18 problems and 18 solutions, compiled from the previous meeting. The attendees voted on what were their 1st and 2nd priorities regarding the problems and solutions related to underage drinking. Input from these town hall meetings will be presented to the Governor's Alcohol Abuse Task Force to show how committed Lake County is to curbing this problem. The results from this meeting are as follows:
Problem Priorities:
  • Peer pressure for youth to drink
  • Parents need for more awareness of and involvement with the problem
  • Parents attitudes toward condoning drinking and communicating with their kids
  • Parental supervision
  • Inconsistency of consequences and messages
Solution Priorities:
  • Educate youth on skills needed to resist peer pressure and to make healthy choices
  • Educate parents on role modeling and communication skills
  • Enforce rules and make them consistent at school, home, police, and in the community and prosecute adults who provide alcohol to minors
  • Explain and enforce zero tolerance
  • Make the issue of underage drinking prevention a priority for everyone in the community

April 11, 2006

A grant had been awarded to the coalition to host a town hall meeting on the prevention of underage drinking. Sponsored by the Illinois Department of Human Services, the Lake County After School Coalition joined over 1,200 communities nationwide to hold a meeting on this issue. The goal was to raise awareness of the impact underage drinking has on all sectors of the community. The format included a short program, including high school students sharing their views on underage drinking, and small group discussions where participants were able to voice concerns about underage drinking and work to find solutions for preventing it from happening in their community. As a result of the small group discussion, the coalition compiled a list of the top 18 problems and 18 solutions for Lake County. These are listed below and will be the prioritized at the April 25th meeting.
Underage Drinking Problems
  • Parents need more awareness of and involvement with the problem
  • Having youth more involved with solutions
  • Parents need skill building on how to communicate with youth
  • Parents condoning the drinking of alcohol as a better alternative to using drugs
  • Adults role modeling drinking
  • Lack of adult supervision
  • Ability of youth to purchase alcohol
  • Lack of parental supervision
  • Youth drinking as an increasing problem
  • Teenagers drinking and driving
  • Parents supplying alcohol to youth
  • Peer pressure for youth to drink
  • Advertising which targets youth
  • Denial of the problem
  • Alcohol is pervasive at family celebrations and community events
  • Lack of consistent policies when students are identified or get into trouble
  • Lack of positive alternative activities
  • Lack of consequences for not following rules and laws
    Underage Drinking Solutions
  • Education for parents, youth and community
  • Adults enforcing rules
  • Consistency with the schools, police, home, and in community
  • Everyone in the community needs to make the issue of underage drinking prevention a priority
  • Carding should be enforced
  • Parents should be good role models
  • Parents should pay more attention to youth activities
  • Better parent/child communication around issue
  • Zero-tolerance must be explained and enforced
  • Stop allowing alcohol beverage companies to sponsor sporting events
  • Prosecute adults who provide alcohol to minors
  • Aid youth who need to find counseling and rehab services
  • Outlaw "drive-through" ability to purchase alcohol beverages
  • Have police in school
  • Educate youth on skills needed to resist peer pressure and how to make healthy choices
  • Utilize media to promote healthy values and choices
  • Increase parent networks to monitor activities
  • Provide parental accountability training
  • Monitor youth's use of computers and TV

September 23, 2005

The 1st Annual Meeting of the coalition included an audience of 150 including educators and representatives from social service, school and faith-based organizations, and 20 Lake County students who participate in after school programs. The purposes of the event were to give an overview of what the coalition has accomplished, highlight some of Lake County's successful after school programs, collect ideas on how the coalition can assist existing and developing after school programs, and elect a board of directors.
The meeting's theme, "Together We Make a Difference," was evident through the presentations given by youth and staff from some of Lake County's successful after school programs. Presentations were given by the Boys and Girls Club of Lake County, College of Lake County's Southlake Educational Center in Vernon Hills, Lake County Health Department/Community Health Center's Family Life Education program, Mundelein After School Coalition, Nicasa in Waukegan, and St. Martin de Porres High School in Waukegan.
At the conclusion of the annual meeting, the Lake County After School Coalition elected their first board of directors. The Board of Directors includes:

Jennifer Bova-Tempest: Woodland Community Cons. School Dist 50
Wallace Brandies: Nicasa
Cheryl Carlson: Volunteer
JoAnn Carpenter: YWCA of Lake County
Evelyn Dalenheim-Russell: YWCA of Lake County
Barb Daudelin: Mundelein and Round Lake Area Park Districts
Migdalia Diaz: Omni Youth Services
Yvette Ewing: Waukegan Public Schools - 21st Century Stars Program
Judy Fried: Nicasa
Pat Garrity: Lake County Health Department/Community Health Center
Meg Hamlet: Metro Achievement Center North
Demar Harris: Lake County Workforce Development
Cynthia Heidorn: Mundelein Elementary Schools District 75
David Husemoller: Lake County Planning, Building and Development
JoAnn Jakubowski: College of Lake County's Southlake Educational Center
Adrienne Johnson: West Deerfield Township
Bruce Johnson: Round Lake Park-Hainesville Police Department
Patti Leppala-Bardell: Lake County Regional Office of Education, PASS
Theresa Loerch: Office of State Representative Kathy Ryg, District 59
Alex Marx: Mundelein Park District
Michelle Michaels: Lake County State's Attorneys Office
Liz Nelson: Lake County InTouch
Mary Penich: Lake County Regional Office of Schools
Raymond Rose: Mundelein Police Department
Kathy Ryg: State Representative, District 59
Sharon Sanders-Funnye: Boys and Girls Club of Lake County
Lisa Sheppard: Gurnee Park District
Debra Trude-Suter: YWCA of Lake County
Connie Willegal: Girl Scouts - IL Crossroads Council
Roycealee Wood: Lake County Regional Office of Education

After the Board of Directors was elected, they held their first meeting to elect officers. The officers of the Lake County After School Coalition are: Treasurer Lisa Shepard; Secretaries Liz Nelson and Theresa Loerch; Co-Vice Presidents Connie Willegal, Mary Penich and JoAnn Carpenter; and Co-Presidents State Rep. Kathy Ryg and Chief Raymond Rose.

March 4, 2005

From a special needs survey, educators, program staff, and volunteers indicated the need for additional training to better serve children with special needs including behavior disorders, emotional disabilities, and conditions that impact a child's ability to learn and interact with peers. As a result of this survey, "Tools for Working with Special Needs Youth" conference was held on March 4th and was attended by 250 service providers.
The keynote speech was delivered by Dr. Michael Frey, who has a private psychiatric practice and is a consultant to school districts, addressed recent changes in diagnosing children who have difficulty regulating anger and affect. A series of nine workshops covered topics ranging from autism to Attention Deficit Disorder to depression in special needs students. The workshops provided background information on conditions, suggested interventions, and resources for further assistance.

February 22, 2005

A group of Mundelein 8th graders met with U.S. Senator Dick Durbin during a round table event hosted by Chief Raymond Rose and State Rep Kathy Ryg and lobbied for more support and money to be included in the federal budget for fiscal year 2006. At the meeting, Durbin pledged to do all he could to fight for more appropriations for after school initiatives.

October 21, 2004

During this meeting, the Coalition met with the Lights on Afterschool! organization and heard a presentation from the United Way of Lake County who discussed what the community perceives as their largest problems and needs.
The Coalition was then updated on the progress of the organization. State Representative Kathy Ryg gave a summit report, Stacey Robinson of the United Way introduced a strategic plan to increase the number of after school activities, and Patti Leppala-Bardell introduced an assessment strategy.

April 14, 2004

The Summit hosted a day-long workshop for over 200 educators, police officers, park district officials, students, parents and community leaders to explore options for improving and expanding after school programs.
The workshop was facilitated by Myrna Torres of Prevention First using the Open Space Technology process. This process allowed all participants to identify priority issues that need to be addressed when creating programs and then attend break-out sessions. Break-out sessions were led by participant volunteers and were forums for people to develop a vision of after-school programs and steps to reach their goals. Through this process, seven priority issues were identified, including:
  • Creating effective and engaging programming
  • Developing funding and other resources
  • Encouraging parent involvement
  • Guaranteeing student safety
  • Promoting a community-wide commitment to education
  • Providing safe and reliable transportation, and Serving students with special needs

February 23, 2004

The Summit hosted a kick-off breakfast that brought 250 local policymakers together to highlight the need for quality after-school programs and discuss successful model programs. Secretary of State Jesse White gave the keynote speech and stressed a holistic approach that would have its base in collaboration and partnerships.