CHICAGO (CBS) – Thanks to Team LeBron’s NBA All-Star victory, $400,000 will go Chicago Scholars, a nonprofit that helps at-risk youth apply for and stay in college.
CBS 2’s Marissa Parra reports on the life-changing moment when they all found out.
Tears and smiles flooded faces on the court after a nail-biting win for Lebron James’ team in the All-Star game. But it wasn’t just the excitement of the game, it was knowing that hundreds of thousands of dollars were about to go towards changing young lives in Chicago
“It felt like, a family hit the lottery,” said Jeff Beckham, Chicago Scholars’ vice president of partnerships.
The Chicago Scholars program has mentored over 4,000 youth in the city over the span of two decades. Their goal is to help low-income students be the first in their family to get into and stay in college.
The students in the program expect deadlines—such as college essays and homework. They did not expect to hear James say his All-Star team would be playing for them. And they sure didn’t expect the eyes of the world on them this weekend
A video of Chicago Scholar Sylvia Love dancing with basketball great Kawhi Leonard is still making the rounds on the internet.
“A lot of people have come up to me today like, ‘You’re the girl in that video,’ ’’ said Love.
Love and fellow high school student Kiara Vega applied for the program. They never expected it would also later mean a front row seat at the NBA All Star game.
“We were all yelling, I cried several times, because it was so exciting,” said Vega. “Being from low income or first generation family, you don’t get chances like this.”
High school juniors in Chicago can apply to become a Chicago Scholar. The deadline is Feb. 24.