“Take Flight College Send-Off” Features CHA Resident Whose Caddy Job Helped Pay for School

Lawndale News Chicago's Bilingual Newspaper - Education

As a freshman at George Westinghouse College Prep, Julissa Andino didn’t know golf from badminton. But she did know she needed to help her family financially and get moving on a plan if she had any hopes of going to college. So the Humboldt Park resident followed up on a tip to check out the Chick Evans Scholarship, which pays tuition and college room and board if you keep up grades, demonstrate high character and serve as a golf caddy for at least two years.

Four years later, after completing 200 loops as a caddy at North Shore Country Club, Julissa will be leaving for University of Illinois at Urbana in a few weeks. The Evans Scholarship will pay for tuition, room and board. Her CHA scholarship will pay for books and anything else that Andino may need as she gears up for what she describes as a life-changing experience. Andino is one of 150 students who attended CHA’s 7th annual “Take Flight College Send-Off” at 11:45 a.m., Wednesday, Aug. 2, on the third floor of CHA Executive Offices, 60 E. Van Buren. There will be 60 schools represented as CHA students prepare to leave home and embark on college life, representing, among others, Ball State, Columbia, DePaul, Howard, Illinois Institute of Technology, Indiana State and Monmouth. It is made possible thanks to a generous grant from CNA and will be hosted by Springboard to Success, the nonprofit affiliate of CHA.

Andino hopes to major in civil engineering, then go on to graduate school. The toughest part will be leaving her dad, a former construction worker who became disabled after falling from a building 10 years ago. The injury was devastating, and he was homeless for a while. That’s when CHA provided the family a scattered site unit in Humboldt Park. Her mom, who lives in Arkansas, is a recent cancer survivor. “I never thought in a million years I’d be able to go to college,” she said. “It will be surreal actually moving in. But I’m glad that I don’t have to worry about my parents coming up with money and taking out loans for my school. My mom didn’t tell me about her breast cancer because she didn’t want me to worry, she wanted me to be successful. Everything I did was for my family. I’m never going to disappoint them. I hope I can make them as happy as they’ve made me.”

Lawndale News Chicago's Bilingual Newspaper - Education

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