Covenant House Missouri Featured in St. Louis Today
An anonymous donor has granted Covenant House Missouri's recent GED and high school graduates with full scholarships to the school of their choice! Read about it here.
When more than a dozen homeless or at-risk teens donned caps and gowns this morning to celebrate earning their GED or a high school diploma, they had no idea a bigger announcement was coming.
At Covenant House Missouri on North Kingshighway, Executive Director Sue Wagener told the group to think about where they once were and how far they had come. But she also asked them where they were going next. You have much more to achieve, she said.
And they were going to have help, in the form of full tuition scholarships to the four-year university, junior college, trade or technical school of the graduate’s choice, Wagener announced to them this morning at the graduation ceremony. The gift from a donor remaining anonymous also will cover college room, board and transportation costs.
As the magnitude of the donation registered with the room, people began to applaud, and many of the staff at Covenant House were in tears. The graduates looked out at the crowd, overwhelmed.
"I wasn't expecting that," said Melissa Campbell, 19, afterwards. "I was wanted to go to college, but I didn't know where because it's expensive."
Covenant House provides 24-hour crisis services to those ages 16 to 21 who are homeless or considered at risk, including a place to stay, GED and employment training classes. They come for help on their own, and are not placed their by any state agency. About 60 percent of the those served have a mental health issue. Last year, 291 entered its crisis program.
Both Ranken Technical College and Hickey College told Covenant House staff they were ready to accept the graduates.
Before the scholarship announcement, none of the graduates had applied or been accepted to a four-year college.
"I know that due to today’s announcement, plans are changing and evolving," said Rick Harris, advancement officer for Covenant House.