Local, Park Forest, Scholarships, Schools

Superintendents’ Commission and UNCF Gala Raises Over $400K for Student Scholarships.

1000 guests attended the Superintendents’ Commission and UNCF “Investing in Our Future” Scholarship Gala

Tinley Park, IL-(ENEWSPF)- For the second year, the Superintendents’ Commission for the Study of Demographics and Diversity (SCSDD) joined forces with the United Negro College Fund (UNCF) to raise money for students in their communities. At the night’s end, organizers announced that the event had raised more than $400,500. This is money toward scholarships for high school students in their districts—more than double the goal of $200,000.

The Superintendents’ Commission comprises 37 elementary and secondary superintendents. There are also school districts of the suburban Cook and collar counties. These dedicate themselves to providing quality educational opportunities for all students.

Double the Goals

Last year, the Superintendents’ Commission and UNCF, celebrating its 80th year, partnered and raised more than $200,000, double their goal of $100,000. This year, the group set a goal of $200,000 and again exceeded the goal.

“Our collaboration with the United Negro College Fund means more money for more students,”

said Dr. Johnnie Thomas, president of the commission and superintendent of Rich Township High School District 227. “That means more support for our students to fulfill their dreams.”

The Superintendents’ Commission awards scholarships to high school seniors in their districts every year. Last year, the fundraising efforts nearly tripled the scholarship dollars available to students, Thomas said. Scholarships awards to students will be at the Superintendents’ Commission annual scholarship dinner on March 21.

Ten Full-Ride Scholarships

Ramonski Luv and the Commission Choir
Radio personality Ramonski Luv, who was the emcee for the evening, poses in front of the Commission Choir, a choir made up of students from Bloom Township, Rich Township, Southland College Prep, Hillcrest High School, and Kankakee High School. (PHOTO SUPPLIED)

Part of the total includes ten full-ride scholarships to Tougaloo College in Mississippi, a Historically Black College and University. The president of Tougaloo College, Dr. Donzell Lee, visited five high school districts last fall and said the school would give two Presidential Scholarships to students from Rich Township High School, Southland College Prep Charter High School, Bloom High School, Kankakee High School, and Hillcrest High School who have a 3.5-grade point average. Dr. Lee will attend the Superintendents’ Commission dinner in March to present the scholarships.

“The power of our districts coming together shows us what is possible,” said Dr. Blondean Y. Davis, Southland’s CEO and superintendent of Matteson School District 162. “We commit to ensuring that our children not only get into college, but they have the financial means to stay in college.”

Last year, 75 high school seniors from 14 high schools in suburban Cook County and Kankakee received scholarships due to the successful joint fundraising effort. Davis said fourteen students from Southland received awards last year, more than double the number of students who usually receive the Superintendents’ Commission Scholarship.

One of those recipients was Alaya Cherry, 18, who said the scholarship changed her life. She is currently at freshman at Tougaloo.

“Being honored by receiving that scholarship and being accepted to Tougaloo motivated me,” said Cherry, majoring in economics and hoping to own a restaurant one day. “It changed something in me. I knew that people believed in me.”