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The Michaels Organization Educational Foundation Hosts Award Ceremony For Chicago Scholarship Recipients

FILED TO: Lifting Lives

Michaels, Chicago Housing Authority celebrate accomplishments of scholars living in Michaels’ affordable living communities across Chicago

CHICAGO (Aug. 23, 2021) -- The Michaels Organization and the Chicago Housing Authority (CHA), along with Elizabeth Carter from Alderman Jeanette Taylor’s office (20th Ward), celebrated the accomplishments of students living in Michaels mixed-income communities on Thursday, August 19th at Savoy Square.

Thirty-four people were awarded scholarships from the Michaels Organization Educational Foundation, including 18 living in CHA assisted housing. In all, almost $200,000 in educational grants were awarded to Chicago students Thursday.

Michaels Educational Foundation is a non-profit affiliate of The Michaels Organization and the private sector partner of CHA on the development and management of Park Douglas, City Gardens, Legends South, Clybourn, Westhaven Park and Villages of Westhaven – all former public housing communities that have been transformed into modern, sustainable affordable housing.

“Recognizing our Michaels Scholars is one of our most favorite activities of the year,” said Milton Pratt, Executive Michaels’ Vice President of Development. “We are so proud to support the educational dreams of our Chicago residents with college scholarships totaling $196,000 for the 2021 academic year.”

CHA CEO Tracey Scott thanked the Michaels Organization in assisting CHA youth, and offered the recipients best wishes.

“Education is a proven pathway to a high quality of life and central to CHA’s mission to help residents achieve long-term economic success,” she said. “So, to all the students who are here tonight, I say congratulations. You have more hard work ahead of you, but I hope you take a moment to pat yourselves on the back. It takes sacrifice and determination to get here, and you have earned these scholarships.”

The Michaels Scholars in Chicago represent a diverse range of individuals with unique interests and passions, including one resident with aspirations to one day own her own beauty salon, and another looking forward to a future in the music industry.

Sheila Frazier, a resident at Park Douglas Apartments, said she will put her scholarship toward a Bachelor Degree in Education, in hopes of one day teaching in the Chicago Public School network.

Darius Moss, who resides in Westhaven Park, will use his scholarship for classes at Miami University of Ohio, where he is studying Mechanical Engineering and is the Vice President of the National Society of Black Engineers.

The Michaels Organization, a national leader in residential real estate, has been developing and managing affordable and mixed-income communities in Chicago for almost 20 years, many in partnership with CHA.

Michaels’ non-profit Educational Foundation awards scholarships each year to residents living in communities owned or managed by Michaels. This year, Michaels Educational Foundation awarded the record-breaking amount of $1.5 million in scholarships to its residents nationally. Funds can be used at any accredited college, university, or trade school in the country and scholars can reapply each year of their undergraduate education.

Many of the 34 scholars celebrated at the ceremony in Chicago are multiple year recipients of the scholarship program. Individual grants awarded range from $4,000 to $10,0000.

All scholarships are privately funded, with donations coming from throughout the Michaels business networks. All contributions to The Michaels Organization Educational Foundation are then matched two-for-one by The Michaels Organization founder Michael J. Levitt and his wife, Pat. The foundation was established in 1991, with the total amount the foundation has awarded over the past 31 years now close to $10 million.

Every year the scholarship candidates from Chicago continually impress the scholarship committee with their aspirations and drive. The Foundation was thrilled to award such deserving individuals an opportunity to continue their education and take the next step towards their dreams.

About The Michaels Organization Educational Foundation: A non-profit affiliate of The Michaels Organization, The Michaels Organization Educational Foundation administers educational scholarship programs open to residents of housing communities owned or managed by companies of The Michaels Organization. Now in its 31th year of awarding scholarships, The Michaels Organization Educational Foundation was the first of its kind in the affordable housing industry when it was established by Michael and Patricia Levitt in 1991. Since then, the scholarship program has expanded to include residents of Michaels' military and student living communities.

About Chicago Housing Authority: CHA’s vision is to foster strong, vibrant communities throughout Chicago by increasing affordable housing choices for low-income families. The CHA is the largest rental housing owner in the City of Chicago. It serves more than 133,000 people in 63,000 households across the city through our Public Housing, Housing Choice Voucher, and Project-Based Voucher programs. For more information, please visit

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