Until 2002, at the time of Arthur Andersen’s collapse, Andersen and its many partners were very generous sponsors of the HFS Scholarship Fund; accounting for a great deal of the Fund’s financial support and supplying many of the Scholars’ mentors (the program operated with 150-200 Arthur Andersen volunteers on an annual basis). Andersen contributed over $100,000 annually, which supported the now prosperous HFS high-school programs. Support from non-Andersen employees was used to bolster the Holy Family School grade-school program, which has since been abandoned due to the school’s closing in 2003. It’s easy to imagine the gap that Andersen’s collapse has left in the ongoing funding of the program. Since 2002, our programs and scholarships have been maintained due to the generosity of three entities: the “Friends of the Holy Family School,” the Full Plate Foundation, and our extensive list of individual donors.
The “Friends of the Holy Family School” established a scholarship fund during the 1970s which was active until 1991. In May 1995, the Pastor of Notre Dame Church, which now controls the Old Fund, along with the three primary active donors, agreed to contribute a portion of the remaining funds to the HFS Chicago Scholars.
The Full Plate Foundation was first created as a charitable organization whose sole purpose was to raise money for educational programs and scholarship opportunities for underprivileged children in Chicago and surrounding areas. The foundation’s first event, in May 2000, successfully raised funds for a much needed book program for Chase Elementary School in Chicago. After this initial success, the group began to look for other programs that could benefit from Full Plate’s involvement, and in their search came in contact with HFS Chicago Scholars. Since 2001, the Full Plate Foundation has dedicated its fund-raising efforts exclusively toward HFS. The Full Plate Foundation offers HFS graduates financial assistance for purchasing books and other needed supplies. As of 2003, Full Plate merged with HFS to become one entity.
The leadership and commitment of our donors has helped us to continue to serve young men and women and to share our vision of providing the safe and intellectually rich support system necessary for talented young minds to thrive and succeed.
Although the program does not have access to the mass number of potential donors that it did when working with Arthur Andersen, HFS donors have remained loyal and enthusiastic towards the organization’s mission. HFS has continued to expand and broaden the scope of the high-school scholarship program, enabling graduating eighth grade students to continue their education at Chicago’s finest private high schools.
It is important to note that the HFS Scholarship Fund is a vehicle for social change, not a means of dispensing social welfare. The Program seeks out the best and the brightest young people who are willing to accept the challenge of transforming their own lives through the highest possible utilization of their intellectual abilities and other talents.