St. Joseph HOPE Scholarship
Organized by: Korey Martinez
The St.Joseph HOPE Scholarship was first introduced to the Back of the Yards Community in 2012. It has since then, awarded more than 20 recipients within these past 4 years to students who enroll and are currently attending college. As a fellow member of the Leadership and Development Group at St. Joseph, I know first hand the challenges these students face when making the decision to attend college. The Leadership and Development Group is established by Mark Wojciechowski, Lijia Evariz, Michelle Barrera, Brenda Moctezuma and yours truely. We are very thankful to have the support behind this vision from Fr. Hugo Londoño, Sagrario Wang and Shirley Bautista! We could not have done it without your support! The best part of all, St. Joseph holds a very important place in our hearts.
Never forget where you come from:
I was born and raised in Chicago and most of my childhood was spent in the Back of the Yards Community. As a kid, my only worries was to have fun. I was oblivious to all the danger that surrounded my sisters and I. As I grew up, I wondered why there was so much violence in the community. Things just didn't make sense. I grew up with so many amazing and talented people here and I couldn't help but wonder where all this hate was coming from. We all shared the same aspiration in life: to be successful and break the stereotypes society had built for us. It was not easy, but everyday we conquered each struggle with courage. My parents gave me all the resources I needed to more forward and excel with my education. Although today Back of the Yards continues to struggle with violence, I will always be proud to say I was raised there. I have met great individuals who continue to enrich this community! I thank you for putting your time and effort into a dream that may not be seen by all, but as long as we believe to better the community and we stick to our grounds, it will happen!
As part of the HOPE Scholarship Committee, I learned that the students HOPE for change was and is the same aspiration that I had at their age. We HOPE for UNITY! No street should draw the line and divide us. We all share the same goal to help our community as one. EDUCATION is power!! We HOPE to excel academically, because in simple terms, WE CAN! We cannot let a reputation of a community define who we are. Join me to reach my fundraiser goal, as I journey through these 26.2 miles on October 9th in honor of all these students who HOPE for a better future. To the students who have unfortunately been overshadowed by the violence, and have managed to continue to push forward and succeed in life. For all those other students that come after them and share the same dream. For the UNITY my community so much needs and to embrace the beauty and talent Back of the Yards has to offer. This one is for you!!
The only legacy we can leave behind is our education!