Full-ride scholarships pay off for two Roosevelt graduates
Five years ago, Roosevelt University promised full-ride scholarships with room and board to all qualifying students from the classes of 2009 and 2010 at Chicago’s Social Justice High School.
Recently, two of those students, Channing Redditt and Chloe Robinson, both 22 years of age and from Chicago’s Lawndale neighborhood, became the first among 15 full-ride recipients from the high school to receive college degrees from Roosevelt.
“This is a milestone for the University as well as these two students who have taken advantage of a wonderful opportunity and now have bright futures ahead as a result,” said Andrea Egle, director of Project Prime, a program providing services and counseling at Roosevelt to low-income students, many whom are the first generation in their families to go to college.
Hailing from low-income families with little means to pay for a college education, Redditt and Robinson, who have known each other since childhood growing up in Lawndale, are the first in their families to receive a college diploma. They are also in agreement that they never could have obtained a college degree, much less gone to a university at all, if not for the full-ride scholarship opportunity from Roosevelt University.
“I honestly could never have gone to college. It wasn’t even on my list to do because I knew my family couldn’t afford to send me,” said Robinson, who received a bachelor’s in accounting from Roosevelt in mid-December and was promoted to a full-time specialist, processing claim payments for the U.S. Bankruptcy Court’s Office of Chapter 13 Trustee, because of her college education.
“My dad had just lost his job and I know I wouldn’t be where I’m at today without the scholarship,” added Redditt, a two-time president of Roosevelt’s Student Government Association and the former director of the University’s Proclaim gospel choir. He received a bachelor’s in social justice studies from the University, also in mid-December.
Currently, Redditt has returned to his roots, working with under-privileged youths in the after-school Upward Bound program at Social Justice High School where he is a tutor and aide helping seniors file their applications to get into area colleges.
Both Lawndale residents acknowledge at times facing obstacles in getting through college. “I remember telling my mother “I don’t want to do this. I’m done with it,’ recalled Robinson. “But she kept telling me ‘Stay in school! You’ve got the money to go and a great opportunity. You can do this,” and I did,” she said.
Robinson is now planning to pursue a master’s degree so she can achieve her dream of becoming a certified public accountant. Meanwhile, Redditt is an applicant and candidate for the Teach for America program. “It makes me feel good that I was able to achieve this and be a role model for others who can see that they, too, can get a college degree and go further with their lives and their education,” he said.
The two Lawndale residents say they supported one another throughout their college experiences, and are looking forward to Roosevelt’s upcoming graduation in May when at least two other full-ride recipients from Social Justice High School are expected to join their ranks. In all, there are currently seven full-ride recipients from the high school who are working on college degrees at the University.