Nothing stirs the soul so much as the triumph of young people against daunting odds. And for those of us engaged with students experiencing homelessness, the evening of June 28 marked such triumph.
The 9th annual Chicago Coalition for the Homeless Scholarship Awards Ceremony, held at Loyola University School of Law, celebrated the achievements of 12 remarkable students, each of whom has succeeded academically despite suffering extreme poverty and housing instability during high school.
For nine years, CCH’s scholarship program has provided up to $2,000 per student per year (including yearly renewals) for post-secondary education. A rapt audience including teachers, homeless liaisons from the Chicago Public Schools, parents, friends, donors and other supporters listened to the wise words of two now-graduated scholars and four newly-chosen awardees. Eight others received renewal scholarships, including two young women pursuing post-graduate study.
The hope, determination, and camaraderie of these youth brought a remarkable feeling to the room: reflection, sadness, joy, and a great sense of fulfillment. Fighting for the educational rights of homeless students brought CCH to this place, and the young people who dare to dream, endure and achieve make it all worth it!
Photos from the event are posted on the CCH Facebook page
– Laurene Heybach, Director, The Law Project