Inaugural Pamela Knight Award given in memory of social worker who lost her life this year
information provided by the Office of the Governor
CHICAGO, Ill. (July 27, 2018) – Department of Children and Family Services Actin Director BJ Walker presented scholarships to 54 college-bound current and former youth in care. Each recipient will receive a monthly grant and up to five consecutive years of tuition and academic fee waivers that can be used at participating Illinois state community colleges and universities.
“I am extremely proud of all of our scholarship recipients,” said Walker. “These students have demonstrated resilience and are changing the trajectory of their future. I applaud them on their success.”
Governor Bruce Rauner also offered words of encouragement in a letter to the scholarship recipients, urging them to press toward their dreams.
“Education is a critical component to all we do in life. It is the key to success,” said Gov. Rauner. “These scholarships will open the doors to a lifetime of possibilities for each of these young men and women. I encourage them to learn all they can and stay focused as they work to achieve their dreams.”
More than 1,300 youth in care have had an opportunity to pursue a college degree since the DCFS scholarship program began in 1971. A new award was added this year, in honor of Pamela Knight, who dedicated more than 30 years of her life to protecting children. She died on February 8, 2018, after succumbing to injuries sustained in the line of duty.
The Pamela Knight award was presented to a youth who is pursuing a degree in social work.
The scholarship winners were selected from nearly 250 applicants from across the state based on academic achievement, community involvement, and an essay.