Each June, the Chicago Coalition for the Homeless awards $2,500 renewable college scholarships to graduating high school seniors who succeeded in school despite coping personally with homelessness.
Students from Chicago and suburban schools are eligible, as well as CCH youth leaders. Online applications are due each April.
The 2018 scholarship awards event was held June 28 at Loyola University law school, 25 E. Pearson St.
To showcase the promise and tenacity of students who coped with homelessness, 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 students and unaccompanied youth. Patricia Rivera, then 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.
Through June 2018, 19 scholarship recipients have graduated with bachelor’s degrees, 43% of the students eligible to do so. This compares well per a national study that showed just 9% of students from the lowest income bracket ($34,160 or lower) had earned a bachelor’s by age 24 (University of Pennsylvania and Pell Institute for the Study of Opportunity in Higher Education, February 2015).
In the 2018-19 school year, 17 students are attending colleges and universities in Illinois, Georgia, and Wisconsin, and historically black universities in Mississippi and Washington, D.C.
CCH scholarships are funded by private donors and several groups: Associated Bank, Sisters of Charity, BVM; The Osa Foundation and Robin Lavin; Susan W. Pearson Memorial Fund; and the Student Alliance for Homeless Youth, led by teens from eight North Shore high schools. The program also benefited by early grants from the Alvin H. Baum Family Fund and a $10,000 challenge grant from Elaine’s Hope, funded by educator Rhonda Purwin.
For more information, contact Intake Specialist Christy Savellano or Foundation Relations and Media Director Anne Bowhay.