Chicago Students Safe, Veteran Student Loans Paid

13 Jul 2015 by Kaysey Pietrzykowsky, No Comments »

Getting to school is one thing most of us don’t stress about, but in the dangerous neighborhoods of Chicago walking to school can be risky. Gangs are a force to be reckoned with, but veterans are now giving gangs trouble. Leave No Veteran Behind, a non-profit organization, began the Safe Passage Program in 2011 as a way of keeping students safe and paying of veterans’ student loans. Veterans must complete 100-400 hours of community service to have their loans paid off. Although, the schedule gives them some time to look for jobs.

The reason for veterans being there is to help students form groups and support each other. “This has visibly decreased youth violence in these areas.” said Eli Williamson, the co-founder of Leave No Veteran Behind. “Our intention is to be here until the last day so kids can figure out that, ‘Hey, there’s somebody that actually cares about our safety’ and they can feel confident going up and down these streets.” said Safe Passage Program veteran, Bernard Cooks.

The Safe Passage Program works with the Chicago Police Department and crossing guards. LNVB plans to expand the program throughout Chicago over the next year.

The Retroactive Scholarship Program has paid back over $150,000 in student loans. 400 veterans have gone through the program and help 8,000 students daily.

Picture Credit: http://www.abstractpublishing.com/children/gifs/safepassage.gif

 

Source: http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2015/04/13/chicago-veterans-keep-streets-safe_n_7028830.html?cps=gravity_2082_5004309115427365700

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