CHICAGO (August 15, 2016) — (RealEstateRama) — Last night, 15 young and ambitious CHA residents and Housing Choice Voucher (HCV) participants were awarded $40,000 in college scholarships that will cover tuition costs in the coming school year. Provided by The Michaels Organization Educational Foundation, the awards are going to a total of 19 students who include a freshman at the University of Missouri who is majoring in electrical engineering and a sophomore who is the first in her family to attend college at the University of Illinois.

“The most important gift you can give someone is the gift of education,” said John J. O’Donnell, president of The Michaels Organization. “We are very grateful to our business partners who have supported our scholarship foundation through private donations, and we are delighted to be able to make a real difference in our residents’ lives through these scholarships,” O’Donnell said.

The recipients were joined Thursday night by Eugene Jones, Jr., CEO of the Chicago Housing Authority (CHA), executives of The Michaels Organization, Chicago Ald. Jason Ervin (28th), and Thomas L.E. Stovall, Program Coordinator and Constituent Service Liaison for Chicago Ald. Pat Dowell (3rd) to celebrate the accomplishments.

“Today, we celebrate as 15 CHA residents and HCV participants share scholarship money,” Jones said. “Because of these scholarships, these students will be able to attend some of the best colleges in the nation. That’s the purpose of CHA: to help residents on the road to self-sufficiency so that they can go on and accomplish big things in their lives. We thank The Michaels Organization for its generosity. Together, we are making sure that tomorrow’s leaders are achieving their goals today.”

The Michaels Organization Educational Foundation is a non-profit affiliate of The Michaels Development Company and Interstate Realty Management, both private sector partners of CHA on the development and management of Park Douglas, Legends South, and Westhaven Park – all former public housing communities now transformed into modern, sustainable affordable housing. In total, the Foundation awarded more than $50,000 in educational grants to these Chicago students for the 2016/2017 academic year – $40,000 of it going to CHA residents or Housing Choice Voucher (HCV) participants.

Since The Michaels Organization has been in Chicago, 111 students have benefitted from the educational foundation program totaling $259,675 in scholarships.

Jaclyn Seaberry, a Westhaven Park CHA resident, a three-time scholarship recipient and a pre-nursing major at Malcolm X College, said: “I am extremely grateful and appreciative for the Michaels Scholarship. It helps me to attend college without worrying about how I’m going to pay for tuition. It gives me the confidence to give my all – to present not just passing grades – but A’s in each class. If Michaels can invest in me then I can invest in myself. It is an honor to be part of this scholarship program, and for that, I say thank you for seeing me through.”

The first scholarship program of its kind in the affordable housing industry, The Michaels Organization Educational Foundation has been helping many high achieving but often economically disadvantaged students achieve their dreams of higher education for more than two decades. The grants can be used by recipients to pay tuition costs at any accredited college, university, or vocational training program in the country, and students can reapply for grants each year of their education.

About The Michaels Organization Educational Foundation:
The Michaels Organization Educational Foundation is a non-profit affiliate of The Michaels Organization that administers educational scholarship programs open to residents of all affordable and military housing communities owned or managed by companies of The Michaels Organization. Now in its 26th year, the foundation was the first of its kind in the affordable housing industry, and has helped many high achieving but often economically disadvantaged students achieve their dreams of higher education. In 2016, the program reached a milestone, awarding for the first time ever more than $600,000 in educational grants. Michael’s founder and CEO Michael Levitt and his wife Pat Levitt contribute two dollars for every dollar in private contributions made to the Foundation.

Office of Communications — Chicago Housing Authority
Molly Sullivan 312-786-3344 msullivan (at) thecha (dot) org

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