CHICAGO — A fashion runway program is helping send Chicago-area students to college. 

The after-school organization run by the SCJR Educational Initiative teaches students how to walk the catwalk and build confidence, all while raising money to help send them to college. 

Their fashion shows double as fundraisers for the scholarship program.

Since 2018, the program has given away 63 college scholarships. With the pandemic, the fashion shows have gone virtual. 

Saturday’s event featured models from Chicago Public Schools including Kenwood Academy, Hyde Park Academy and CPS Alumnae now attending historically black colleges or universities including Hampton University, Howard University, Morehouse College, Southern University and Spelman College. 

The event also featured celebrity hosts including actresses Miranda Rae Mayo and Arica Himmel as well as appearances by New York Fashion Week models Jasmine Sanders and Tami Williams. There was also a live violin performance by Miss Chicago 2020, Monica Nia Jones. 

A GoFundMe tied to Saturday’s event raised nearly $7,000.  You can learn more about the program and educational initiative at

RELATED: Founder of charity that provides scholarships, after school programs wants students to gain confidence

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