Elon senior's nonprofit earns her $15,000 award

Yasmine Arrington, a strategic communications and history double major from Washington, D.C., received a Samuel Huntington Public Service Award this spring to grow a nonprofit she founded to help the children of incarcerated parents pay for college.

Elon University senior Yasmine Arrington
An Elon University senior who founded a nonprofit to help the children of imprisoned parents attend college will expand her program next year with funding from a national award that supports global public service.

Yasmine Arrington’s work with her ScholarCHIPS organization earned her one of three Samuel Huntington Public Service Awards, which comes with a $15,000 stipend to aid her efforts for up to a year before entering graduate school or starting a career.

Arrington, of Washington, D.C., will use the award to recruit career-oriented adult mentors for ScholarCHIPS students, increase programming and outreach to more students in the Washington area, and secure financial commitments from individual donors and foundations.

“I am very thankful to be named one of the distinguished recipients of the Samuel Huntington Public Service Award this year and for the opportunity to continue to grow my nonprofit,” Arrington said. “I look forward to continuing to conduct meaningful service in my community to an underserved population.”    

Arrington founded ScholarCHIPS in 2010 to raise scholarship funds for high school graduates with parents in prison. Her program has since supported nearly two dozen young adults in their pursuit of a college degree.

The history and strategic communications double major has been active at Elon with the Elon College Fellows program, the Periclean Scholars program, One in Christ Ministries and the Alpha Phi Alpha Miss Black and Gold Pageant 2015, among other activities. Her work next year with ScholarCHIPS will coincide with the start of her graduate studies in divinity at Howard University.

Arrington received the Huntington Award along with students from the University of Pennsylvania and Florida State University. They were among 40 students who applied for the 2015-16 prize.

With a deep interest in public service and experience teaching overseas, the late Samuel Huntington was president and CEO of the New England Electric System before its merger with National Grid, an international electricity and gas company. First distributed in 1989, the award was established by Huntington’s friends to allow other students to realize similar experiences and to provide public service.

The Huntington Award is the second prize this spring for Arrington and her nonprofit. The DC Commission on the Arts & Humanities awarded ScholarCHIPS a $10,000 grant to conduct monthly programming through September.


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