The SchoolHouse Connection Leadership and Scholarship Program

The SchoolHouse Connection Youth Leadership and Scholarship Program

 [Deadline to Apply: October 15, 2021, 11:59PM PST]

  • Provides scholarships to youth who have experienced homelessness to ensure their completion of a post-secondary education program.
  • Assists youth with financial aid processes, mental health advocacy and referrals, professional legal advocacy and referrals, and assistance in locating and establishing local contacts for general support and services.
  • Builds a stable peer and adult support network for recipients, before, during, and after their college careers, and into their transition into the workforce.
  • Offers young people meaningful opportunities to engage in advocacy, while providing sustained support services to help ensure graduation and success in life.
The Award
  • $2,000 scholarship award.
  • A minimum of 10 scholarships are awarded.
  • A trip to a national awards ceremony (travel and expenses included).
  • Second gathering in Washington, DC, one year after the initial scholarship award (all expenses included).
  • One on one support from SchoolHouse Connection staff to ensure that you are successful in getting to and through higher education.

COVID-19 Precautions: We are monitoring travel restrictions and are prioritizing the safety of SchoolHouse Connection Scholars. Scholar trips remain an integral and essential part of the YLS program, but are postponed at the present time for safety. If selected, you will be able to attend both trips once it is safe to travel.

Who Should Apply?

  • Applicants must have been born on or after Oct. 15, 2001.
  • Applicants must be entering college for the first time during the fall of 2022-2023 school year. This means that the application is for students who will be high school seniors in the fall of 2021; for those who are in GED programs; and for those who plan to take a gap year. Students who have college credit through high school programs are eligible.
  • Applicants must have experienced homelessness within the last six years.
  • Applicants must reside in the United States.
  • Undocumented students who meet these criteria are eligible.

Share This Printable Flyer

Here is a printable flyer to share with teachers, counselors, service providers, and young people.

Submit Your Application Today!

Click Here to Apply
Frequently Asked Questions
How recent does my homelessness have to be to apply?
Within the last six years.
What do you consider homeless? I've never stayed in a shelter or outside.

We use the federal education definition of homelessness. It specifically covers children and youth living in shelters, transitional housing, cars, campgrounds, motels, and sharing the housing of others temporarily due to loss of housing, economic hardship, or similar reasons. Please read the full definition here:

The term “homeless children and youths”–
(A) means individuals who lack a fixed, regular, and adequate nighttime residence (within the meaning of section 103(a)(1)); and

(B) includes–
(i) children and youths who are sharing the housing of other persons due to loss of housing, economic hardship, or a similar reason; are living in motels, hotels, trailer parks, or camping grounds due to the lack of alternative adequate accommodations; are living in emergency or transitional shelters; or are abandoned in hospitals;
(ii) children and youths who have a primary nighttime residence that is a public or private place not designed for or ordinarily used as a regular sleeping accommodation for human beings (within the meaning of section 103(a)(2)(C));
(iii) children and youths who are living in cars, parks, public spaces, abandoned buildings, substandard housing, bus or train stations, or similar settings; and
(iv) migratory children (as such term is defined in section 1309 of the Elementary and Secondary Education Act of 1965) who qualify as homeless for the purposes of this subtitle because the children are living in circumstances described in clauses (i) through (iii).

My GPA is lower than I'd like because I had some rough semesters/years. Am I still eligible?
We do not have a minimum GPA requirement. If you meet the criteria, you should apply! We know that the circumstances of homelessness can cause periods of academic hardship. The essay component of the application is the best place to explain your academic performance and any information you would like us to consider.
I'm having trouble loading documents to your system. What do I do?
Please refresh the system and make sure you are loading a file type that the system accepts. If those efforts do not work, please email Jordyn Roark. We want your application to be complete!
I am taking a gap year. Am I still eligible?

Yes. As long as you have graduated high school or completed a GED program, and have a birthday on or after Oct. 15, 2001, you are eligible.

Can I submit an essay that I used for my college application for your scholarship?
Our essay asks for some specific information about your education and experience with homelessness. It is unlikely that other essays will match our criteria. Please consider writing an essay specific to our scholarship, as we read and consider each essay carefully.
I have undocumented status. Am I still eligible for your scholarship?
Some of the details of my homelessness and my life seem too personal to share. Do you want to read essays with personal details?
It is your choice to withhold any details that you do not want to share. Essays are confidential, and are not shared with anyone outside of the selection committee.
I have not been identified as homeless by my school but I am experiencing/ have experienced homelessness. Am I eligible?
Yes. You may apply for our scholarship even if you have not been identified as homeless by your school.
I am currently 19 years old. Is that the right age to apply?

Possibly! Anyone who was born on or after Oct. 15, 2001 is eligible.

Please contact Jordyn Roark if you have further questions.

Email Jordyn

Youth Leadership and Scholarship Program Partners

SchoolHouse Connection’s Youth Leadership and Scholarship program partners with companies, nonprofits, organizations, and individuals around the country who are passionate about meeting the needs of students experiencing homelessness. Our partners contribute in many different ways and their ideas, time, and in-kind and monetary support help us to ensure that our scholars are successful in getting to and through higher education.

The mission of the Extra Help Fund is to give some “extra” financial assistance to students who have experienced homelessness, are graduating high school with a diploma or GED certificate, and have been accepted to a college or trade school. The Extra Help Fund has chosen SchoolHouse Connection as their partner non-profit organization to receive their donations. Extra Help donations can be used for dorm fees, meals, a needed laptop, internet service fees, transportation, books, emergency medical help, or whatever may be needed and as determined between the student and their advisor. 

The Extra Help Fund is a donor advised fund through the Community Foundation of Palm Beach and Martin Counties. Profits from sales at; a division of The Firestone Group Inc of Boca Raton, Florida , will be used to help fund this initiative.

View the full Partnership Description HERE.

Interested in partnering with us? Let’s discuss ways to collaborate.

Need more information? Please contact us.

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