About 150 public housing and Housing Choice Voucher (HCV) students attending 75 different schools participated in CHA’s sixth annual “Take Flight College Send-Off” on August 5 at the CHA Offices, 60 E. Van Buren.
The trunk party bid farewell to CHA students attending, among others, Wisconsin, Illinois, Indiana, Colgate, Ohio, Grambling and Arizona State. This year’s class was the second-largest since CHA started the event in 2010. And it was possible thanks to a generous grant from CNA to our non-profit affiliate, Springboard to Success.
“As I have designated 2016 the ‘Year of the Youth’ at CHA, this is an especially important class of students heading off to college for the first time,” CHA CEO Eugene Jones, Jr. said. “Our youth are our future, and CHA remains committed to contributing to programs that support their endeavors. We have 150 youth participating in this, one of our signature programs, and we are overcome with pride as we salute them one more time before they head out into the real world.”
CNA’s $20,000 grant has contributed to dorm room supplies and to one-on-one college transition counseling and support as well. And, in a surprise announcement, CHA gave all 150 Take Flight participants a laptop.
“CNA is very proud to support the 150 students headed to college this fall as part of CHA’s Take Flight college prep program,” said Sarah Pang, Senior Vice President, Corporate Communications and Community Involvement, CNA. “These remarkable students’ hard work and perseverance is inspiring. It is an honor to lend our support to the program and congratulate the scholars on their achievements.”
Dorm room supplies were also purchased with support from the South Loop Target.
Mea White, who will attend Illinois State this fall, said: “The benefits of ‘Take Flight’ are that CHA residents can go off to college and be very big in life. You are not just limited to Chicago. You can take the world. It helps motivate you and get you ready for college. It helps you realize that you can do anything that you put your mind to. This event just promotes and motivates me to be show the world who you are.”
Michael Moss, a Senior at Illinois College, shared his experiences and gave advice to the incoming freshmen. He participated in many CHA youth pro- grams and is a four-year CHA scholarship recipient.
“I’m excited because it’s a great opportunity to speak to students from my community and who were in the same situation I was in,” said Moss, a first-generation college student who is an intern at the RSM global accounting firm. “I was once a freshman without knowing what I wanted to do. I overcame a lot of odds, and took advantage of every opportunity. I want to show other students how important it is to take advantage of every opportunity presented by CHA.”