Education. Readiness. Family. LINK Unlimited is a four-year financial assistance and scholarship program awarded to African American students in Chicago. Founded in 1966 in response to Dr. Martin Luther King Jr’s message, John and Carolyn Parmer of the south side of Chicago were inspired to help build stronger educational opportunities for Chicago’s youth. De La Salle’s own Parmer Activity Center is also named after them.
“LINK provides mentoring, outside tutoring, field trips, and internships to allow students to connect in the business world for future jobs,” Director of Financial Aid Mr. Christopher Hall said.
Every summer LINK Unlimited holds a six-week summer program to prepare scholars for the upcoming school year. This applies to incoming freshmen, sophomores, and juniors. This past summer the program was held at Urban Prep High School in Bronzeville. At the program, students attend math, reading, and English classes.
“It made classes easier for the upcoming school year. In summer school, I took classes in math, African-American English, and study skills. I felt confident in excelling in my studies, especially in IDA,” a De La Salle freshman said.
Another scholarship program DLS students are involved in is Big Shoulders Fund. Big Shoulders is a scholarship program that has supported students attending Catholic schools in the city of Chicago for more than twenty-eight years. The funds are supported by endowments and other incomes to give 100 percent to benefit Big Should Fund schools and the students. In addition, Bg Shoulders provides academic programs, instructional equipment, facility improvements, grants, and much more
“These scholarships appear in De La Salle to help families afford tuition and take the burden from the families to afford a good education for their children,” Hall said.
Currently, Big Shoulders Fund helps students at seventy-seven city schools. Big Shoulders offer scholarships such as the Beeson, Gallagher, and Kelly scholarships. As of today, Big Shoulders has a four-star rating from Charity Navigator, and 4,200 students benefit from more than $8.5 million dollars.
“Their generosity and kindness has shown me the qualities I should instill in myself to strive to become a better student and person. Without them, the achievements I’ve had academically wouldn’t have happened,” De La Salle senior said.