Hope Through Learning Award

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Financial awards are available to young people who have persevered against homelessness and are applying to post-secondary education programs. Recipients can use their award for tuition, school-related expenses such as books or a computer, or living expenses, such as transportation, child care, or housing.

How can I apply?

The Hope Through Learning Award is a $2,500 award available to youth age 24 and under residing in Allegheny County who are experiencing or have experienced homelessness during their school attendance years, and who are going on to a higher education or career training program for the first time. Homelessness is defined as lacking a fixed, regular, and adequate night-time residence, and includes students living in a shelter, car, motel, doubled-up situation, or places not meant for human habitation.

Applications for the 2016-17 cycle are due May 31st, 2017. Awardees will be determined in June 2017.

  • Application Form
  • Resume: Include any work, volunteering, honors, awards, etc.
  • Most Recent High School Transcript
  • Essay:  One to two pages.  Please respond to each item.
    • Describe your experience with homelessness.
    • How has your experience with homelessness affected your education?  How have you overcome the challenges of housing instability to succeed in school?
    • What do you think should be done (or what would you do) to increase awareness or address the issue of student homelessness?
  • Copy of Post-Secondary Program Acceptance Letter
  • Two Letters of Recommendation: Letters should be on letterhead and include the author’s title, address, phone number, email address, and signature.  Examples include teachers, mentors, clergy, community leaders, case managers, or homeless housing staff, excluding family.

Completed applications (no staples, please) should be sent to:
Krystle Morrison
Homeless Children’s Education Fund
2020 Smallman Street, 2nd Floor
Pittsburgh, PA 15222

More assistance

Looking for more resources and tips?  Check out our resource page for higher education and career resources.

2016 awardees

  • Michael graduated from Harari College Worldwide and was accepted to study education and political science at Dartmouth.
  • Camille graduated from Imani Christian Academy and was accepted to Ohio University to study mechanical engineering.
  • Dakira graduated from North Hills Senior High School and was accepted to Temple University to study biochemistry. She eventually wants to attend medical school at Duke.
  • Khai graduated from Pittsburgh Science Technology Academy and was accepted to Siena Heights University to study physical therapy.
  • Mircalene graduated from Obama Academy of International Studies and was accepted to CCAC to study nursing. She eventually wants to become a physician’s assistant.

What Recipients Are Saying:



For more information, contact HCEF’s Manager of Educational Services.

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