ScholarCHIPS is ensuring that children of incarcerated parents are not sentenced to a lifetime of poverty. Founded by Yasmine Arrington after her own fruitless search for college scholarships for children of incarcerated parents (CHIPS), the program fills a national vacuum amid some startling statistics. There are more than 2 million children whose parents are incarcerated with DC leading the nation with the highest incarceration rate in the country. Many of those children struggle with mental, emotional, and financial issues that entrench them deeply into a cycle of poverty and make college feel like a distant dream. Children whose mothers are incarcerated have college completion rates of 1-2 percent.
ScholarCHIPS is focused on changing the narrative of broken homes by becoming a strong bridge to college. Young adults who qualify receive scholarships, mentoring, and support to ensure a future of freedom from poverty. Since Yasmine began the program, 24 scholars have received love, care, and financial assistance from ScholarCHIPS. Now Yasmine is ready to take her program to the next level by identifying a strategy to move from one-to-one mentoring to a multiplier effect where she can help even more DC children struggling with the burdens of parental incarceration. DC Social Innovation Project’s pro-bono teams will be developing a strategic plan to tap critical knowledge and partnerships to expand ScholarCHIPS impact in the years to come. Our funds will be used to develop a new conference to launch this bolder vision for impact.