Related Companies, along with Related Affordable and Related Midwest, have awarded the first annual Parkway Gardens Scholarship, a $5,000 grant to support individuals pursuing a higher education. The recipient, Parkway Gardens resident Tumora Grayson, was awarded the scholarship in recognition of her efforts to complete a degree in criminal justice and make a positive impact on the lives of others.
“Our mission at Related Affordable is to raise the quality of life in underserved communities, whether through the construction of affordable housing, or through outreach programs like the Parkway Gardens Scholarship,” said Matthew Finkle, president of Related Affordable. “Tumora’s determination to make a difference in her community reflects the values we all share and shows what we can achieve together.”
The Parkway Gardens scholarship was established in 2013 when Parkway Gardens Apartments, a 694-unit affordable housing community in Chicago’s Woodlawn neighborhood, was reopened following an extensive redevelopment by Related Affordable. At the time of the renovations, Related also installed an 8,410-square-foot turf field for the John Foster Dulles Elementary School, which serves the children of Parkway Gardens, the childhood home of first lady Michelle Obama.
Residents of the community who met certain post-secondary enrollment and academic performance requirements were encouraged to apply for the annual scholarship, which can be used for tuition, fees, books, room and board, and other educational expenses. Grayson, who plans to seek employment in a public service role, was selected in recognition of her consistently high grade-point average and professional goals outlined in her written essay.
“I’m thankful to everyone at Related for this opportunity and for helping young people who are trying to achieve their goals through education,” said Grayson, who is pursuing a criminal justice degree at Westwood College. “I’m looking forward to earning my degree, setting a positive example for my daughter, and making a difference in people’s lives.”
Motivated by the hardships she has faced, first as a child and now as a single parent, Grayson said she aspires to work with children and young adults to help steer them toward the right path and achieve their fullest potential.