Park Forest, Schools

Congresswoman Kelly Announces Grants to Help Advance Educational Opportunities for Disadvantaged Youth

Washington, DC–(ENEWSPF)–August 4, 2016.  Congresswoman Robin Kelly announced today that Prairie State College, Kankakee Community College and a South-Holland –based educational agency will receive a total of $768,000 in federal grants from the U.S. Department of Education. The Talent Search Program grants will provide support services for youth from disadvantaged backgrounds to complete high school and continue their postsecondary education.

“These grants will target low-performing high schools and middle schools in communities with high poverty rates and create a dynamic support structure to help young people achieve educational goals seemingly out of reach,” Congresswoman Kelly said. “Providing motivated students from disadvantaged backgrounds with consistent, individualized guidance will in the long run contribute to the upward mobility of our communities and our region.”

Jamal Hawkins, director of TRiO Talent Search/Upward Bound Programs at Kankakee Community College, said, “The primary concern and purpose of this project is to identify, select, and assist low income/first generation students who are located in the KCC district to successfully complete a program of postsecondary education.”

Prairie State College Dean Felix Simpkins said “the grant will allow for the continuation of the college’s TRiO ETS Program, which offers a full range of activities and interventions designed to reduce the gap in college access, making matriculation into post-secondary education attainable.”

Prairie State College will receive $240,000 to provide academic, career and financial counseling to youth within Bloom Township.  Kankakee Community College will serve 600 participants with its $288,000 grant award. The South Holland-based Family Centered Educational Agency, Inc., will receive $240,000 to serve 500 students attending schools in the South Suburbs, including Thornwood High School and McKinley Junior High School. The grant awards can be extended every year for five years if the schools meet required annual goals.