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McHenry County College hosts fashion show to raise awareness, funding for scholarship program

A showcase of fashions for the holiday and winter seasons recently honored McHenry County College scholarship recipients, as well as raised awareness and funding for the college’s Education to Empowerment program.

The program, also known as the E2E Scholarship program, hosted Festive Fashions Nov. 2 at Lakeside Legacy Arts Park in Crystal Lake. The runway models were all scholarship recipients, members and donors. Along with showing off seasonal fashions, the event included fashion and design from 1967 in honor of the college’s 50 years of education.

“We always try to do something that will shed light on Education to Empowerment so the community knows we exist,” said Nancy Wenzel, chairwoman of the scholarship program, supported by the Friends of McHenry County College Foundation.

One of the group’s executive committee members, Paul Dorion-Gray, came up with the idea for a fashion show this year to showcase the program, its members, recipients and donors and, of course, fashion.

“Who doesn’t love a fashion show?” Wenzel said.

The Education to Empowerment program provides financial support and mentorship to female McHenry County College students completing their final year at MCC and continuing onto a four-year college, university or trade school toward an advanced degree. To date, Education to Empowerment has awarded $168,000 in scholarships to 21 female MCC students since 2013.

Applying for scholarships during their freshman year, recipients receive $4,000 in their second year at MCC and another $4,000 upon graduating and continuing their education elsewhere.

Wenzel said she became involved with the program because she works in staffing and interviews people daily either trying to enter the workforce for the first time or reenter.

“It was apparent to me people need education to further their careers and their dreams, really,” she said. “Some of these jobs are out of people’s reach if they don’t have a degree or exposure to education in some fashion. It’s critical to the community.”

For information on Education to Empowerment, visit www.mchenry.edu/empower/.

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