CFC Scholarship Fund, Inc. awards 20 students scholarships

IN THE WORLD of social distancing the Chicago Football Classic Scholarship Fund, Inc. (CFC) managed to hold an awards ceremony for 20 students, who each received a laptop and $5,000 scholarship to attend their HBCU of choice. Pictured above are the CFC founders, sponsors, and strategic community partners, as well as the scholarship recipients.

By Joseph Phillips, Sports Editor
Chicago Crusader Newspaper

Now in its 23rd season, the Chicago Football Classic (CFC) Scholarship Fund, Inc., in collaboration with an array of strategic community partners and sponsors, awarded 20 scholarships and laptops to Chicago-area students to attend Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCUs) in the fall of 2020.

PAUL RENNIE, V. P. and General Manager, WGN TV, (left) pictured with Marist High School graduate Kenneth C. Ross, (center) who will be attending Morehouse College, and Cubs Chairman and CEO Tom Ricketts (right).

The group held their 2020 Scholarship Reception on Thursday, August 6, at the DuSable Museum of African American History via the Roundhouse Plaza, 5700 S. Cottage Grove Ave., with the support of parents, sponsors, and several members of the media in attendance.

“Despite the unprecedented COVID-19 pandemic and related impacts, the CFC remains grounded in our commitment to providing access to higher education at HBCUs for deserving scholars,” said Tim Rand, co-founder of the CFC Scholarship Fund. “By leveraging the collective value system of our strategic partners, this year CFC and team will award $5,000 scholarships, along with free laptops to scholars from across the City of Chicago.”

Rand said via a press release that the criteria for students to qualify for the $5,000 in scholarship money required that: A student currently is accepted into a Historically Black College or University for the 2020-21 school year. Must be a senior in high school in the Chicago metropolitan area or surrounding suburbs; or a student transferring from one of the City Colleges of Chicago. Must be a student that demonstrates financial need. All scholarship dollars will only be directed to HBCUs ($2,500 per semester) on behalf of scholarship recipient to cover tuition/books/fees/board/housing/etc.

CO-FOUNDERS OF CFC are pictured presenting a scholarship check to Kennedy Stoudemire a graduate of Kenwood Academy, who will be attending Hampton University. Shown from l-r: Larry Huggins, Kennedy Stoudemire and Everett Rand.

And last, students must have already submitted transcripts and proof of registration for each semester and have maintained a minimum cumulative 2.7 GPA (on a 4.0 scale). “Without question, scholarships matter particularly during this highly unpredictable season in the lives of students, families and institutions,” said Everett Rand, another co-founder of the CFC in a previous interview with the Crusader. “While historically our annual college/career fair, epic football game featuring spirited rivalries and the ever-so-amazing “Battle of the Bands” have been the staples in the Chicago Football Classic programming, it is the scholarship component that is our true goal. Despite the pandemic, the CFC is paying it forward via scholarships.”

In addition to Rand’s statement, students accepted their awards and received laptops from the Chicago Cubs group. CEO and President of Riteway-Huggins Construction, Larry Huggins, also credited CFC’s success to its board of directors, sponsors, and political leadership in the community.

“Since our inauguration in 1997, the Chicago Football Classic Scholarship Fund, Inc., has been dedicated to generating resources to help fund HBCU scholarships for Chicago area students, while promoting the signature scholastic training and enriching experience offered by HBCUs,” said Huggins, another co-founder of the CFC. “Last year, nearly half a million dollars was awarded to eligible students.

This year, each scholarship recipient will also receive a free laptop computer, compliments of Christmas in the Wards, our other philanthropic arm.”

During the ceremony, Huggins also acknowledged Mayor Lori Lightfoot, Cook County Board President Toni Preckwinkle, and Governor J.B. Pritzker for their support.

CFC Board member and Chicago Cubs Chairman and CEO Tom Ricketts was also in attendance. Ricketts said he has partnered with Christmas in the Wards and CFC in past efforts. “Students [should] take full advantage of [their] educational opportunities,” Ricketts said. Eileen Rhodes, President of Eastlake Management, acknowledged Everett Rand for being her mentor for 20 years and for encouraging her to give back to the community during their conversations.

TOM RICKETTS, CFC Board member and Chicago Cubs Chairman and CEO speaks during one of the ceremony segments.

Vice President of Communications and Community Affairs for the Chicago Cubs, Julian Green, was also in attendance. Green said that attending Alabama A&M University allowed him to experience the Civil Rights Movement’s history.

Green said he was not only impressed with the history of his school, but was also proud to come full circle and be a sponsor for one of the scholarship recipients.

For more information on how to donate to the CFC Scholarship Matters Program, visit [] or call (773)-874-8000 x4025.

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