Making College a Reality for Everyone

 

Children of incarcerated parents are often held accountable for their parents’ decisions and left to deal with the harsh reality of growing up without a mother or father in the home.

ScholarCHIPS, an acronym for Children of Incarcerated Parents, was founded on the belief that these young people should be given a chance before being written off by society. The D.C.-based nonprofit exists to provide college scholarships, mentoring and a support network to youth with incarcerated parents, inspiring them to pursue and complete their college degree, according to ScholarCHIPS founder and executive director Yasmine Arrington.

  ScholarCHIPS being presented a $10,000 match grant by the Washington Redskins Charitable Foundation.  Photo credit/ Sidney & Company

ScholarCHIPS being presented a $10,000 match grant by the Washington Redskins Charitable Foundation. Photo credit/ Sidney & Company

“It’s important to me that as many of these youth receive the opportunity to go to college and graduate,” Arrington said. “In the bigger picture, this is a solution to, and a sign of exiting, the War on Drugs era when so many people were sent to prison with lengthy sentences for non-violent crimes, leaving millions of youth without a parent, or sometimes without both parents, in the home.”

ScholarCHIPS was born out of Arrington’s, and her grandmother’s, frustration of not being able to find scholarships for children with incarcerated parents (Arrington’s father was incarcerated). This prompted Arrington to conduct her own research. In that moment she realized she wasn’t alone, that nearly three million youth in the U.S. have an incarcerated parent. (Next)

About the Author: Princess Gabbara is a Michigan-based journalist and freelance writer (Ebony, Essence, etc.). You can read more of her work on her blog. She also tweets @PrincessGabbara.

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