The Illinois Department of Children and Family Services (DCFS) is pleased to announce that it will honor 53 college-bound youth on Friday, July 22 from noon to 3:00 p.m. at the Alhambra Palace, 1240 W. Randolph Street, in Chicago.
“This time of year is for graduation ceremonies and celebrations, and our youth in care are no different. I would like to congratulate the scholarship recipients for their accomplishments,” said DCFS Director George H. Sheldon. “I am extremely proud of our recent graduates and current students continuing higher education.”
Invited guests include the four-year scholarship recipients and their families, government officials, and a former youth-in-care guest speaker. This year’s guest speaker is Rodney Walker, an entrepreneur and author who grew up on the South Side of Chicago. Walker was in foster care and surpassed the drugs and violence that plagued his neighborhood to become an ivy-league school graduate. In 2016, Rodney released his first book, an educational memoir entitled “A New Day One: Trauma, Grace and a Young Man’s Journey from Foster Care to Yale”.
The scholarship winners were selected from nearly 300 applicants from across the state based on academic achievement, community involvement and an essay.
“It is a great honor to recognize these scholars for their character, extracurricular activities, and academic achievements,” said Dr. Tiffany Gholson, Associate Deputy Director in the Office of Education & Transition Services. “I encourage all of our youth to plan for their future, develop unique dreams and talents, and choose to be lifelong learners. This is not only a proud moment for the recipients and their families, but for the Department of Children and Family Services as well.”
This year’s scholarship honorees are from:
*Denotes recipient currently resides out of state