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The PUSH Excel / Aramark Trades Scholarship is awarded to Chicago Public School (CPS) students who are planning to pursue careers in the building trades and/or facilities management. With the growth of careers in the trades industries, students have more opportunities to expand their educational pathways to prepare them for high demand jobs of the future. To that end, Aramark, in partnership with PUSH Excel and Kennedy-King College, a member of the City Colleges of Chicago, has developed this scholarship to provide financial assistance for graduating CPS seniors interested in continuing their educational advancement.

The $25,000 scholarship is for ten (10) CPS students to receive a basic certificate (16-week program) in carpentry, masonry, plumbing or welding. This is a non-renewable, one (1) time award.


Eligibility Criteria:

Scholarship is only for Chicago Public School students who are a member of Rainbow PUSH and meet the following requirements:

  • Must be a United States citizen;
  • Will graduate in June 2020 from a Chicago Public School high school;
  • Have a cumulative grade point average of 2.5 or higher (based on a 4.0 scale) at the time of application;
  • Have demonstrated leadership ability through past/present participation in community service, extracurricular and/or other activities;
  • Have fully completed the application in its entirety with original signatures, submitted on or before the deadline.


Letters of Recommendations – 2 Letters:

  • One (1) letter of recommendation must be from a CPS instructor describing the student’s leadership and academic excellence.
  • One (1) letter of recommendation may be from a social worker, church or community leader, or an adult who has worked with the student in a community service capacity; describing the students role and leadership.
  • Recommendations should explain why the student is worthy of the scholarship.
  • Recommendations CANNOT be made by relatives.




  • Must submit a minimum 500- word essay. Essay must be typed, double space, in Times New Roman font, with 12 point font size.
  • Required essay must address the following:
    • Identify five (5) prerequisites for success and explain in detail your personal philosophy for the pursuit of excellence.
    • Explain the obstacles or hardships you had to overcome on your journey to achieve academic success.
    • Explain why you wish to pursue a career in the trades industry and how this scholarship will help you achieve your goals.


Documentation to be submitted with application:

  • Official transcript from Chicago Public Schools;
  • Submit one (1) written recommendation from the CPS instructor (cannot be a family member);
  • Submit one (1) written community service recommendation cannot be a family member);
  • Submit one (1) written essay – minimum of 500 words
  • Evidence of service learning (Must indicate any school-based extracurricular involvement and/or community –service involvement.)


Application Process:

  • Application will be available online at  from Monday, January 20, 2020 until Thursday, May 21, 2020.
  • DEADLINE for application is Thursday, May 21, 2020.

Payment of Scholarships:

  • A $10,000 check will be made payable to City Colleges of Chicago / Kennedy King College on behalf of the scholarship recipient from Operation PUSH on behalf of Aramark; upon written confirmation of enrollment of the scholarship recipient at Kennedy King College.
    • Scholarship funds are to be used for payment of tuition, books and supplies.
  • All Scholarship recipients must agree to allow PUSH Excel and Aramark to share their name and photograph with the public/media.
  • After the first year of school, all scholarship recipients must provide a letter to Aramark and PUSH Excel explaining how the scholarship assisted them in their educational goals.




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