CHA has grand send-off for 150 college-bound students at annual event

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Harvard-bound student goes from Harvard Ave. to Harvard U.

CHICAGO – RealEstateRama – About 150 public housing residents heading off to college for the first time are being bid a fond farewell this week – and given complimentary dorm room supplies – in CHA’s 2020 curbside edition of the annual “Take Flight College Send-Off.”

About 100 soon-to-be college students received their bag of essentials in vehicles or picked them up in person Tuesday at CHA’s Charles A. Hayes Family Investment Center. The remainder will be distributed on designated days this week.

“CHA offers its congratulations to all of the 150 young students departing for college,” said CHA CEO Tracey Scott. “Education is a proven pathway out of poverty and central to CHA’s mission to help residents achieve long-term economic success.”

Among the students who received supplies was Anicia Miller, a graduate of St. Ignatius College Prep and CHA Scholarship recipient who will be starting at Harvard University this month.

Miller, who will major in biomedical engineering, has a life motto she first thought of it when she was 10 years old while spending part of her childhood on Harvard Avenue. It served as motivation throughout her high school years. It’s even engraved in her class ring: From Harvard Ave. to Harvard University. Now, it’s reality.

“I can officially say that I went from Harvard (Avenue) to Harvard (University),” Miller said.

Growing up in the South Loop, Miller often visited relatives on Harvard Avenue. She spent a lot of time there.

Always a good student under the watchful eye of her mother and grandmother, Miller was focused. She became interested in the biomedical engineering field by watching shows like “Grey’s Anatomy” and other programs where doctors and surgeons were in positions to help people.

But it wasn’t until she took a robotics class in fifth grade that her interest turned into a calling. That’s also when she became interested in attending Harvard. Since then, Miller has developed a passion for creating prosthetic devices for children.

“Prosthetics can’t grow with children, and they’re constantly having to be fit for adaptations,” she said. “My dream is to create a prosthetic limb or organ that can grow with the patient.”

A few years ago, her mother and grandmother both faced health complications. As both have been extremely supportive of her dreams, the episodes further fueled Miller’s passion for the health and medical field.

And though she will start at Harvard virtually this fall she’s hopeful that the time will come soon when she is living on campus in Cambridge, MA.

Miller expects to be the first in her family to graduate from college and since it will be from the prestigious Ivy League school will make that accomplishment even more gratifying.

“This is a monumental milestone for my family,” she said.

This 10th annual trunk party was hosted by CHA’s nonprofit partner, Springboard to Success, and funds raised by S2S supporters helped pay for the dorm supplies that included linens, towels, toiletries and school supplies.


Press contacts:

Office of Communications – Chicago Housing Authority

Molly Sullivan: (312) 399-2105;
Matthew Aguilar: (312) 523-7067;

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