Any given school year there are around 1,300 high school students between the ages of 16 and 18 who live in public housing across Charlotte. Each year, while those students are in class, there is a group working to raise money to give students scholarships and the opportunity to pursue a college education.
The Charlotte Housing Authority Scholarship Fund started in 1983 with $300 for one student. Since then, more than 850 students have received help in their quest to break the cycle of poverty.
“Every cent that you get from any source made all the difference when you are starting from zero,” explained Chris Moxley. Moxley’s family moved to public housing the summer before he entered sixth grade. Along the way he met a representative from CHASF and that’s when he conversation about college got a little louder. He applied for and received a scholarship. As a proud graduate of UNCC and top in his class Moxley has a successful career in financial services and is the co-owner of 704 shop.
“As a student you can't afford to be on the fence about your education,” explained Moxley. “We know education is the number one differentiator from going from where you are to where you could be.”
Moxley is one of many success stories and remains involved in the CHASF and will gladly share his story with anyone who will listen. The scholarship fund is part of the Foundation For The Carolinas. It’s not just about giving money for the non-profit but also support and even help finding other scholarships available.
“The whole mission and everything it stands for. It was started as a labor of love and a mission from God,” said Executive Director Aisha Strothers. The year marks a milestone for CHASF as the group celebrates 35 years of helping send students to school.
“A student living in poverty or born into poverty is most likely to stay here in poverty in Charlotte,” said Strothers which fuels her to raise more money for more scholarships.
The biggest fundraiser for the non-profit is April, 28th. The Believers and Achievers Gala will take place at the Mint Museum. Tickets are still available.