CHA bids college-bound students a fond farewell at the 11th annual “Take Flight College Send-Off”
CHICAGO (Aug. 6, 2021): More than 160 college-bound students representing some 60 schools around the nation participated in the 11th annual “Take Flight College Send-Off” Wednesday at Charles A. Hayes Center, as CHA bid farewell to residents in grand fashion.
Among the schools represented were Michigan, Illinois, New York University and Arizona State.
“I’m so proud of you. It wasn’t easy to get here, I know,” CHA CEO Tracey Scott said. “This is the beginning of your journey as an adult going into the world. And I applaud you for what it took to be standing here right now. And, at the same time, I know you’re about to have some real fun going to college.”
The giant trunk party was made possible thanks to generous support of Molina Health Care and was hosted by Springboard to Success, the nonprofit partner of CHA. Students will receive linens, towels and toiletries.
Resident Lanyia Murdock was on hand. Her motivation for college is her mother.
“I told her that I would go to college, finish college and then make sure she never has to work again,” said Murdock, a recent graduate of Hansberry College Prep who will be departing for Coe College in Cedar Rapids, Iowa, in a few days. “She’s been working her whole life. I told her, once I graduate, she’ll never have to pay another bill.”
Murdock, who lives in the Lawndale neighborhood, will major in business administration at Coe College. The hope is to start her own business that helps her community – mostly kids.
“I’d like to start an athletic program, to help alleviate the violence in Chicago,” she said. “I want young people to know that there is another outlet. You don’t have to be out in the street. There are other things to devote your energy to.”
Murdock graduated fourth in her class at Hansberry College Prep. She has been an honor student all her life, and an athlete. She played basketball and hopes to walk on to the team at Coe.
As a little girl, she hoped to be a doctor or a lawyer because they made money. Then she wanted to be a police officer so she could help people. She started thinking about business in the second grade when she and her friends started selling candy to their friends – and making money doing it. She continued selling snacks to classmates in high school – candy, juice, cake, chips. She’d stock up and be out of boxes by the end of the day.
“It got to the point I couldn’t hold the snacks in my locker,” she said.
That’s when the idea of operating her own business began to take shape.
Meantime, she is helping her family with paying for her college. She has received the CHA Scholarship and participated in the CHA Summer Job Program (“I don’t know what I would’ve done without CHA,”). And she has been working this summer at a Woodlawn thrift store, where she organizes books, clothes and cleans up the store.
All in preparation for the next chapter of her life.
“Going to college means the world to me,” she wrote in an essay. “Both of my parents went to college: however, neither one of them graduated. My mother works hard for me and my sisters. For me to go to college, I feel like I’m accomplishing something for them, too.”
About Springboard to Success: S2S supports programs and partners that propel Chicago Housing Authority residents on their pathways to academic success, economic stability and independence. For more information, visit www.s2s.org
About the CHA: CHA’s vision is to foster strong, vibrant communities throughout Chicago by increasing affordable housing choices for low-income families. The CHA is the largest rental housing owner in the City of Chicago. It serves more than 133,000 people in 63,000 households across the city through our Public Housing, Housing Choice Voucher, and Project-Based Voucher programs. For more information, please visit www.thecha.org