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New Milestones, Fundraising Goals, & Updated Mission ✨
Published on February 27, 2024 by Sierra Jackson

Sometimes it can feel like playing catch up when setting the most optimal goals and projections for the scholarship. Organizing a community initiative for the sole purpose of providing financial support to Chicagoland students of color can be a challenge when you want to support each and every student but understand capacity reigns supreme and targeted high impact goals are productive and far more reachable. Below are some updates on new milestones, fundraising goals, and our overall mission we've developed to continue sustaining The Endurance Scholarship:

GRANTS
We've applied to 3 grants this year: 2024 NorthShore Exchange Grant ($30K); Crossroads Seed Fund ($15K); and Diaspora Solidarities Lab - Community Fellows Program ($5K). We are waiting to hear back from each grant in March 2024, April 2024 (first round) / June 2024 (final round), and December 2024 respectively.

MISSION
Last September we launched our inaugural Passport Project, which awards Chicagoland students of color funds to cover expenses associated with the passport application process to be used towards educational travel. Check out a list of our first 7 awardees here.

Originally, The Endurance Scholarship's broad purpose was to provide financial support to Chicagoland students of color in both post-secondary institutions and private elementary schools. Our unrestricted awards have always served to support the whole student, covering expenses many traditional scholarships do not (i.e. expenses beyond room, board, and/or tuition). The Passport Project marks a shift towards our commitment to making educational travel accessible. To that end, we've updated our mission to include this additional north star: The Endurance Scholarship is a community initiative providing financial support to students of color in collegiate and private elementary schools to access educational travel and continue pursuing their education.

While this updated mission omits the specification of "Chicagoland students of color," we will continue to provide awards specifically for Chicagoland students of color. This new language seeks to include those served by future partners and organizations we aim to work with via partnerships, collaborations, and/or communal granting initiatives.

FUNDRAISING GOALS

2025 Educational Trip - $8,250
We are currently planning a 7-day educational trip for June 2025 to study health / wellness with a focus on herbalism and community farming at Brickyard Gardens in Savannah, GA. This trip will mark our shift towards organizing accessible educational travel experiences for Chicagoland students of color. With a budget of $7K we will be able to offer a fully funded educational trip for 2 students and 2 leads, which will include food, housing, air, and ground transportation.

$1K will be donated to our partner organizations ($500 per; Brickyard Gardens + her[b]otanicals): Black women-run initiatives who focus on herbalism, land study, alternative medicine, and community/business development. This financial support sustains crucial work addressing inequality and oppression within BIPOC communities, contributing to lasting social change.

Passport Project - $1,900
Our goal is to award 10 Passport Project awards each year ($190 each).

Scholarship Reserve - $15,000
Our CYCLE-based scholarship awards are CURRENTLY PAUSED until we build an adequate reserve to ensure the awards' sustainability. Our immediate goal is to provide 10 $1K awards ($10K total) to Chicagoland students of color in both post-secondary (5 awards) and private elementary schools (5 awards). Ultimately, we are striving towards a yearly scholarship offering of 20 $1K awards ($20K) to impact 10 post-secondary and 10 private elementary school Chicagoland students of color.

Emergency Fund - $500
Our Emergency Fund is open to all Chicagoland students of color attending either a post-secondary institution (undergraduate - graduate level or vocational/trade school) or private elementary schools. The purpose of this fund is to provide financial support for urgent needs related to the pursuit of the student's education. These needs can include (but are not limited to): housing fees, transportation expenses, assessment fees, international student fees / travel document remaining balances for educational travel, 1 month's phone bill, school uniform fees etc.

Operations - $400
To cover expenses such as website subscription + domain renewal, printing and shipping.

Thank you always for taking the time to learn more about our work 🧡💛💙

With Care,
Sierra

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