Spotlight Program


September 2014

Peace & Ed Scholarships

Chicago, Illinois
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Every year Holy Cross Parish takes part in an academic scholarship fund in partnership with the Peace and Education Coalition, a local nonprofit started by the parish. This coalition also works with Holy Cross and Chicago Public Schools on the neighborhood’s successful alternative high school, which Holy Cross helped to found.

Many of the current donors to the fund are former recipients. Part of the goal of this scholarship fund is to teach students to give back when they can. In fact, many recipients go into social service fields in order to serve their community, giving a sense of purpose to their studies that other young students lack.

All applicants who have a history of service are awarded a scholarship. The 2013 applicants cited tutoring and teaching, mentoring, coaching, social service volunteering, volunteering at festivals and events, performing music, and serving as local leaders as their most common service commitments. This scholarship fund is distributed annually and is available to high school, college, tech/vocational, and community college students of all ages. In 2013, 51 students applied for scholarships. Awards range from $150 to $2,000 and are based on each applicant’s volunteer service to the community.

To apply for a scholarship, candidates must submit a written application and meet for a brief interview with a panel of 2 or 3 local professionals who serve as judges. Judges evaluate each candidate on their personal goals, communication style, and general professionalism.

These interviews take place over several nights and are conducted in Holy Cross’ parish buildings. Meeting with the judges gives each candidate interview experience that prepares them for future professional interviews. The judges also give candidates feedback about their applications so the students can grow both academically and professionally.

Though these scholarships are open to a wide range of people in the community served by the Peace and Education Coalition, the majority of the candidates are affiliated with Holy Cross. Out of the 60 applications that the scholarship fund received in 2011, 41 of those were Holy Cross parishioners. The scholarships are awarded each year on Father’s Day as a way to bring focus to the importance of education and providing for family.

Join these donors in helping people of all ages pursue their education while giving back to their community.

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