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 2017-18 cycle are due May 31st, 2018. Awardees will be determined in June 2018. Please check back later this year for the 2018 application form.

  • Application Form: Complete an online form or download a PDF version.
  • 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
One Hope Square
1901 Centre Ave, Ste 301
Pittsburgh, PA 15219

More assistance

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

2017 awardees

  • A’nyah graduated from City Charter High School and was accepted to study criminal justice at Temple University. She would like to become a civil rights lawyer.
  • Amber graduated from Norton High School and was accepted to study criminal justice at Dodge City Community College. She would like to be a sex crimes detective.
  • Cassondra graduated from Gateway Senior High School and was accepted to Fisk University to study history and sociology. Her goal is to become a high school social studies teacher.
  • Landon graduated from Brashear High School and was accepted to study biology and pre-med at Chatham University, on the path to becoming a medical doctor.
  • Monet graduated from Brashear High School and was accepted to Carlow University to study business and art. She would like to start an art therapy nonprofit for teens experiencing homelessness.
  • Precious graduated from Brasher High School and was accepted to the pre-medical program at the University of Pittsburgh at Greensburg. She is interested is bio-engineering and stem cell research.
  • Re’Onna graduated from City Charter High School and was accepted to the University of Pittsburgh at Johnstown to study sociology and finance. She plans to pursue a juris doctorate degree and start a nonprofit serving single-parent families.
  • Tybre graduated from Westinghouse High School and was accepted to Point Park University to study sports management. He plans to pursue a career as a manager of professional athletes.

What Recipients Are Saying:



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

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