Chicago Treasurer Announces 2018 Hispanic Heritage Month Essay Competition

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Chicago City Treasurer Kurt Summers is proud to announce, in partnership with BMO Harris bank, the Hispanic Heritage Month Essay Competition for CPS seniors.

This inaugural scholarship contest, sponsored by the Treasurer’s Office, is open to all CPS seniors that have at least 50 hours of community service. The $2,500 scholarship will be used to support the award winner’s first year of college.

“One of the greatest strengths of Chicago is the diversity of cultures represented throughout our city,” said Summers regarding the new scholarship. “As we celebrate Hispanic Heritage Month, my office is excited to hear about the experiences and dreams of our youth. With the support of BMO Harris Bank as our partner, we are proud to help make the educational aspirations of our students a little more attainable.”

This scholarship recognizes a senior in high school who has displayed outstanding academic achievement or community involvement and writes a thoughtful and impactful essay (600-1,200 words) on the topic of neighborhood economic development. Participating students are also asked to provide a description of their college plans.

“BMO’s commitment to diversity and inclusion extends beyond our workplace to include the communities we serve,” added Diane Whatton, Head of Community Giving, BMO Harris Bank. “Sponsoring the Hispanic Heritage Month Back to School Contest is a meaningful way we can demonstrate our commitment to education while celebrating the achievements and contributions of the Hispanic community.”

Each year, Americans observe National Hispanic Heritage Month from September 15 to October 15, by celebrating the histories, cultures and contributions of American citizens whose ancestors came from Spain, Mexico, the Caribbean and Central and South America. The observation started in 1968 as Hispanic Heritage Week under President Lyndon Johnson and was expanded by President Ronald Reagan in 1988 to cover a 30-day period starting on September 15 and ending on October 15. The day of September 15 is significant because it is the anniversary of independence for Latin American countries Costa Rica, El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras and Nicaragua. In addition, Mexico and Chile celebrate their independence days on September 16 and September 18, respectively. Also, Columbus Day or Día de la Raza, which is October 12, falls within this 30 day period.

Essay Topic: What is a key issue that people in your community face that often goes unnoticed? What role can public and private investments in your community play in addressing that issue? How can you play a positive role in shaping those investments?

The deadline to apply is October 11, 2018.

For more information and to apply, please click here.

Scholarship Qualifications:

  • CPS senior (class of 2019)
  • Plan to enroll in an accredited two or four-year institution of higher education or educational institution in the fall of 2019
  • NO GPA REQUIREMENT
  • Strong community service/civic engagement suggested (students should be able to prove service learning hours)

Additional Requirements:

  • List of scholarships applied for
  • Official transcript
  • Please describe your college plans for fall of 2019. Include the institution you plan to attend, your intended major, how you plan to pay for school-related costs (i.e., tuition, room, board, textbooks, airfare, etc.).
  • What is your Expected Family Contribution (EFC) Number? It is located on your FAFSA Student Aid Report (SAR)
  • If you have not completed your FAFSA, when do you plan to complete it? If you do not plan to complete the FAFSA, please provide an explanation.

Renewable: No

Open to DREAMers: Yes
Award: $2,500

Deadline: 10/11/2018

Supplemental Questions:

  1. Official Transcript Required
  2. Please provide a recommendation from a teacher, counselor or college and career coach who is familiar with student’s academic work including their name and email address.
  3. Please provide a recommendation/verification regarding community service (non-relative)
  4. Please upload your college letter of acceptance. The letter of acceptance must come from a regionally accredited two or four-year institution of higher learning.
  5. Have you applied for any other scholarships?
  6. College Plans Essay: In no more than 500 words: 1. Please describe your college plans for fall of 2019. Include the institution you plan to attend, your intended major, how you plan to pay for school-related costs (i.e., tuition, room, board, textbooks, airfare, etc.). Include the names and amounts of any scholarships you have been awarded.
  7. Essay 2 between 600-1,200 words: What is a key issue that people in your community face that often goes unnoticed? What role can public and private investments in your community play in addressing that issue? How can you play a positive role in shaping those investments?
  8. What is your Expected Family Contribution (EFC) Number? It is located on your FAFSA Student Aid Report (SAR)
  9. If you have not completed your FAFSA, when do you plan to complete it? If you do not plan to complete the FAFSA, please provide an explanation.

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