Give the gift of education!We’re proud of all of our students’ achievements, but we get especially excited when we can share some of their academic success. This fall, Lily, a senior who lived in and attended tutoring at three of our partner locations during the 15 months her family was homeless, was awarded a $2,000 LeTendre Scholarship through the National Association for the Education of Homeless Children and Youth (NAEHCY). She was one of a select group of students throughout the nation to be awarded the scholarship this year, and was flown to Atlanta, GA to accept it this fall during the annual NAEHCY conference. LeTendre scholarships are for students who are homeless or who have been homeless during their K-12 school attendance, and who have demonstrated average or higher than average achievement.

The social worker at Lily’s school introduced her to this opportunity, but it was Lily’s insightful essay that earned her this special award. Lily has big plans for her future, and we’re so pleased they include education. She wants to major in elementary education with a special education concentration, and also wants to take Spanish. Her desire is to teach preschool or kindergarten. Helping out in the early childhood education classroom at her high school was one of the reasons she selected this inspiring plan for her future.

Lily has her sights set on several great schools, but Indiana University is where she most wants to attend. But with applications out to Ball State and Butler as well, Lily will have many options. We feel confident that the same strength and focus Lily used to achieve academically while homeless will benefit her well in college. She has already experienced more distractions than most youth her age and has managed to achieve great results in spite of them.

While we are thrilled to report on Lily’s academic success, we’re also happy to share that Lily, her mother and younger brother have recently moved into a home of their own. This gives us great hope that Lily will now be able to focus more on the things that she loves and bring her comfort, like helping kids, spending time with family and reading.

Lily’s tutor Cindy says, “Lilly is a great girl,” and we couldn’t agree more. We celebrate Lily’s academic success and wish her the best of luck in the future!