Drug and alcohol addiction can tear a family apart. Besides the emotional trauma addiction can cause, it may also leave a family financially bereft. For children who want to break the cycle, attend college and start a better life, little or no money may be available for tuition. A few scholarship programs offer support for children who have addicted parents.
Willy the Plumber Scholarship
Karl “Willy” Winsness teamed with the Community Foundation of Utah to create the Willy the Plumber Scholarship, which supports students "who have suffered because of the mistakes of their parents." The scholarship is for students whose parents are incarcerated, but this often includes addicts. The 2013 scholarship winner wrote a lengthy essay about growing up with two addicted parents who were constantly in and out of jail. At the time of publication, the scholarship awards $3,500 to high school seniors in Utah.
Hope for Addiction
Both the children of drug addicts and recovering drug addicts themselves can apply for this scholarship program. Applicants must be age 27 or younger and pledge to abstain from drugs and alcohol for the rest of their lives. At the time of publication, the program awards scholarships of $1,000 to attend college or a trade school. Awards are made on a quarterly basis, so students have opportunities to apply throughout the year. Applicants must write a personal essay about their experiences and their commitment to living drug free.
New York Times College Scholarship
This scholarship from The New York Times Company Foundation is for students who have shown perseverance in the face of significant obstacles, such as living with addicted parents or being homeless. Past winners have included the children of addicted parents. The program provides 10 awards that include a four-year scholarship, mentoring and an internship at "The New York Times." Students must be in the top 10 percent of their class at a high school in the New York metropolitan area. Award amounts vary according to available funding. In 2014, award winners received $7,500 per year. Students can attend any accredited college.
Student Yasmine Arrington started this scholarship program to help students, like her, whose parents were incarcerated. Many scholarship winners have parents who are incarcerated because of their addiction. The award amounts vary according to how much is raised for the fund each year. In 2014, three students were awarded scholarships of $2,500 each, and one student won a $250 award for books. Students must be high school seniors pursuing an accredited degree program to qualify.
- The Community Foundation of Utah: Applying for Scholarships
- Salt Lake City Weekly: Scholarship Winner Describes Growing Up the Child of Addicts
- Hope for Addiction: Scholarship Program
- The New York Times Company: The New York Times College Scholarship Program
- ScholarChips Fund: Home
- The Washington Post: College Student who Knows Pain of Parent's Incarceration Gives Back to Kids
- Photo Credit Peerayot/iStock/Getty Images
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