The Stigma of Being a CHIP

 

For Raynna Nkwanyuo, a senior at Old Dominion University in Norfolk, VA and one of ScholarCHIPS’ first scholars, the organization has helped make pursuing her degree in public health and administration easier. It also helped her to break some of the stigma that comes along with having an incarcerated parent (her mother was incarcerated for five years) by meeting other youth in her predicament.

“I’m very grateful for the organization,” Nkwanyuo said. “It’s provided me with a strong network and support system. Incarceration is a topic that’s rarely discussed. It gets swept under the rug, so I'm grateful that there's an organization that offers support to children of incarcerated parents." 

  ScholarCHIPS founder and executive Director Yasmine Arrington (center) being honored at 2012's "Black Girls Rock" event.

ScholarCHIPS founder and executive Director Yasmine Arrington (center) being honored at 2012's "Black Girls Rock" event.

Besides seeing the joy and excitement on the scholars’ faces at the annual award ceremonies, one of Arrington’s proudest moments is being featured on BET’s “Black Girls Rock” event in 2012.

“That’s when the nation was introduced to ScholarCHIPS,” Arrington said. “I received so much positive feedback from the show and many people still recognize me and the organization from that feature.” (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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