The Michaels Organization Educational Foundation Celebrates 19 College Scholarship Recipients at CHA-Sponsored Housing Communities

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Non-Profit Affiliate of Michaels Development Company and Interstate Realty Management Awards $45,500 in Grants to Residents of Park Douglas, Legends South, and Westhaven Park Communities

scholarships, Michaels organization, chicago, affordable housing

An aspiring speech pathologist starting her freshman year at Southern Illinois University was among the scholarship recipients honored by Michaels.

‘Giving Back’ is deeply embedded in The Michaels Organization's corporate culture.

Executives of The Michaels Organization and The Chicago Housing Authority (CHA), along with two city aldermen, gathered last night to celebrate the achievements of 19 residents of CHA-sponsored affordable housing who have been awarded college scholarships from The Michaels Organization Educational Foundation. The students include a single mother of four whose interest in nursing was inspired by caring for her severely disabled son, an aspiring pediatrician, and a third-year student at the University of Illinois who plans to earn a Ph.D. in social work.

The Michaels Organization Educational Foundation is a non-profit affiliate of The Michaels Development Company and Interstate Realty Management, both private sector partners with the Chicago Housing Authority on the development and management of Legends South, Westhaven Park, and Park Douglas, all formerly outdated public housing communities now transformed into modern, sustainable affordable housing. In total, the Foundation awarded more than $45,000 in educational grants to these Chicago students for the 2014/2015 academic year.

“The idea of ‘giving back’ has been deeply embedded in our corporate culture by our founder, Michael J. Levitt,” said Mark Morgan, president of Interstate Realty Management, who acted as master of ceremonies at the scholarship recognition ceremony held in the community center of Savoy Square at Legends South. “Just as the power of quality, affordable housing can transform communities, the power of education can help transform individual lives, and we are proud to help our residents with their educational pursuits,” Morgan said.

The first scholarship program of its kind in the affordable housing industry, The Michaels Organization Educational Foundation has been helping many high achieving but often economically disadvantaged students achieve their goals of higher education for more than two decades. In 2014, the program reached a milestone—awarding for the first time ever more than $500,000 in grants to residents through the Michaels portfolio. The grants can be used by recipients to pay tuition costs at any accredited college, university, or vocational training program in the country, and students can reapply for grants each year of their education.

Chicago Alderman Pat Dowell who represents the Third Ward, and Alderman Walter J. Burnett, who represents the 27th Ward, attended the ceremony, congratulating the students and their families.

“I’m really proud of myself and I am very thankful,” said Jhamiyaa Lockhart, a scholarship recipient and resident of Westhaven Park, who will be a freshman this fall at Southern Illinois University, where she plans to study speech pathology. “Every penny really helps, so I am so glad that [IRM staff] Lisa Young and Vorricia Harvey encouraged me to apply and helped me with the application.” Jhamiyaa said her mom kept reminding her to complete the applications as well, so they were both thrilled to learn that she received not only a scholarship from The Michaels Organization Educational Foundation but one from the Chicago Housing Authority as well. She plans to apply again next year.

About The Michaels Organization Educational Foundation:
The Michaels Organization Educational Foundation is a non-profit affiliate of The Michaels Organization that administers educational scholarship programs open to residents of all affordable and military housing communities owned or managed by companies of The Michaels Organization. Now in its 24th year, The Michaels Organization Educational Foundation has endowed more than $3.5 million in scholarships benefitting more than 1,800 students since 1991. The Michaels Organization’s CEO, Michael Levitt, and his wife Patricia Levitt match all private contributions to the foundation two-for-one.

About The Michaels Organization:
Michaels Development Company and Interstate Realty Management are part of The Michaels Organization, a family of integrated but independent companies dedicated to excellence in affordable, mixed-finance, military and student housing. Serving more than 100,000 residents in 360 communities across 34 states, the District of Columbia, and the U.S. Virgin Islands and with a development portfolio valued in excess of $3.5 billion, The Michaels Organization is a national leader in the residential real estate industry, with full service capabilities in development, property and asset management, construction, mortgage finance, and tax credit syndication.

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