For homeless students, ‘there’s hope’

Jul 15, 2015 by

Rikki White, 18, was homeless from September to January of her senior year of high school.

She didn’t have reliable transportation to Propel Braddock Hills High School or to Point Park University, where she took college-level biology and statistics courses. By the end of each day, she was exhausted from classes, travel and stress.

“Somehow, miraculously, I came out with good grades,” she said. “I guess I have a good noggin.”

For many children who experience homelessness, performing well academically is a challenge, so the Homeless Children’s Education Fund is dedicated to recognizing local students who do so.

Ms. White and four other graduating seniors from Allegheny County were awarded the Hope Through Learning Scholarship of $2,500 each at a ceremony Tuesday at Pittsburgh Zoo & PPG Aquarium. Ms. White will begin studying forensic science in the fall at Duquesne University, and she hopes to pursue a career in forensic toxicology or anthropology.

“There’s hope, and it’s through learning and education,” said Bill Wolfe, the fund’s executive director.

This is the scholarship’s second year. Three scholarships were awarded last year, and the agency hopes to provide for more students in the future.

“There’s a desire of many students to break out of the shackles of homelessness,” said Joseph Lagana, the fund’s founder and CEO. “Education is a path.”

Recipient Anne Amudson, 17, was homeless for about half of seventh grade, and her experience actually helped her discover her passion for writing.

She and her family moved from their home in Sacramento to a relative’s house in Indiana, where Anne was homeschooled.

Source: For homeless students in Pittsburgh area, ‘there’s hope’ | Pittsburgh Post-Gazette

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