D.C.

ScholarCHIPS helps students with incarcerated parents

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It’s for a very personal reason that 19-year-old Yasmine Arrington formed "ScholarCHIPS."

"I had, grew up having my father in prison, he was in and out and he wasn't really at home, so I understand the emotional struggle and the financial struggle that comes along with that,” Arrington says.

Yasmine is now a sophomore at Elon College in North Carolina and she is helping other students whose parents are incarcerated by awarding college scholarships. Scholar-chips is funded totally by donations and fund drives.

One of the recipients has two parents serving life sentences. One girl’s father was sentenced to death.

Yasmine recently met with one of the scholarship recipients, Raynna Nkwanyuo, whose father is in prison. With help from ScholarCHIPS, she is now a freshman at Old Dominion University in Norfolk.

"It's not something you should be angry at your parents for, it's something you should live above, because it has made me into the young lady I am and the adult that I am,” Nkwanyuo says. "Gives me hope to continue doing well in college at Old Dominion University and pursue my dreams and let nobody stop me."

As inspiring as Yasmine's story is, she says it is the young scholarship applicants, trying to make a better life for themselves, who inspire her.

"Even stepping out and applying for the scholarship, because they're coming out in their own way and saying, hey this is me, my parent is in prison, i need your help. that's a vulnerable position to be in,” she says.

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