Each summer, the Chicago Coalition for the Homeless awards $2,000 renewable college scholarships to graduating seniors who experienced homelessness while in high school.
Eligible to apply are students who were homeless at some point while attending Chicago Public high schools, a former youth client of the CCH Law Project in the city or suburbs, or a youth leader who is active with CCH and no older than age 22. Applications for 2013 were due May 1. More detailed eligibility criteria can be found here.
Scholarships for 2013-14 will be awarded on Thursday, June 27, 2013, in an event hosted by Loyola University Law School, 25 E. Pearson St. (5:30 p.m., 10th Floor Ceremonial Courtroom). Finalists will be announced by June 10.
In 2012, four finalists were chosen from among 47 applicants. Our 11 current scholarship recipients were honored June 28, in a ceremony hosted by Loyola University Law School.
To showcase the promise and tenacity of aspiring college students who lived with homelessness while in high school, the CCH Law Project created the scholarship program in 2004. The program was the next step for a legal aid program that focuses its casework on helping homeless children and youth access public school. Patricia Rivera, then the director of the Chicago Public Schools’ Homeless Education Program, collaborated with CCH in creating the scholarship, and was the first of the private donors to fund the scholarships.
In nine years, through 2012, 33 homeless or recently homeless students have received renewable scholarships. Fifty-one percent of our students have earned their degrees or are progressing through college. Six scholarship recipients have graduated with bachelor’s degrees. A seventh graduated from a nursing program. Ten scholarship recipients will start or return to college in 2012-13, attending schools in Illinois and Arkansas. The program also assists two students pursuing post-graduate degrees.
CCH scholarships are fully funded by private donors and several foundations – the Osa Foundation and Robin Lavin, Alvin H. Baum Family Fund, Chicago Teachers Union, Sisters of Charity BVM, and the Student Alliance for Homeless Youth, a organization led by teens from eight North Shore high schools. The program also benefited from $10,000 challenge grant from Elaine’s Hope, administered by educator Rhonda Purwin.
CCH donates its staff time and the costs of the summer event at which the students and donors meet to present the new scholarship winners.
For more information, contact Claire Sloss at firstname.lastname@example.org