In a ceremony on August 3, 2017 in Chicago, The Michaels Organization Educational Foundation awarded twenty- one residents living in affordable housing owned or managed by The Michaels Organization a total of of $64,000. These scholarship can be used towards educational expenses at any accredited college, university or vocational training school in the nation.
Eugene Jones Jr., Chief Executive Officer of the Chicago Housing Authority stated, “This goes beyond buildings... What these scholarships have done is they have closed the gaps between what the scholars can achieve and what they can afford.”
The Foundation is celebrating its twenty-seventh year of encouraging the pursuit of higher education among residents living in Michael's properties. This year the foundation awarded a total of $750,000 to students pursuing a higher education nationwide.
Samlaree Birch, the first scholar from Clybourn 1200, spoke at the awards ceremony and said, “How blessed and fortunate are we to live in a chain or buildings that puts education first… To The Michaels Organization, thank you, thank you, thank you. Your investment into my education will not be in vain.” Samlaree will be a sophomore at Depaul University and is majoring in Special Education.
The Michaels Organization Educational Foundation is a non-profit affiliate of The Michaels Organization, first established by TMO’s founder and CEO Michael J. Levitt in 1991. With these latest scholarships, the total amount the foundation has awarded over the past 27 years now surpasses $5.9 million.
Alderman Walter J. Burnett Jr. of the 27th Ward, spoke at the event stated, “I would like to commend The Michaels Organization for the scholarships that they provided...They not only provided great housing, but they also provided the means to make sure that you are successful while living in their facilities.”
All residents who live in The Michaels Organization's affordable, mixed-income, student, or military housing communities are eligible to apply for scholarships from the educational foundation. The scholarship funds are paid directly to the educational institution, and students can reapply every year of their undergraduate education.