Related Midwest Blog

Related Affordable Foundation scholarship recipient thriving at Northern Illinois University

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Related Midwest’s commitment to its affordable housing community goes beyond buildings. Through Related Affordable Foundation’s Scholarship Program, we award scholarships to high school seniors residing at affordable housing properties who plan to go on to higher education in trade and technical schools, colleges and universities.

In 2022, Related Affordable Foundation provided Parkway Gardens resident Kemarion Bryant a scholarship to attend Northern Illinois University (NIU), and he’s already making a splash in the school’s performing arts program. Not only did Bryant finish his first semester with a 3.0 GPA, but he also participated in his first college-level production: a 75-minute choreographed dance piece. Bryant also was selected to perform in two-person dance pieces in NIU’s Art4Life dance showcase—an honor for a freshman. 

These initial college achievements bring Bryant closer to his dream to pursue acting and dancing professionally, a passion that he discovered through the After School Matters’ “Take the Stage” drama program. Bryant’s passion impressed the Related Affordable Foundation with his scholarship application. A graduate of Gwendolyn Brooks College Preparatory Academy High School, he emphasized how he overcame the challenges of remote learning during the pandemic and planned to take those lessons into higher education. 

“I grew up on the South Side of Chicago, and where I’m from students think they can’t attend secondary education,” Bryant said. “With the scholarship from Related, it gave me momentum. It gave me that push to follow my dreams and do what I really wanted to do.” 

The goal of the Related Affordable Foundation Scholarship Program is to eliminate the economic barriers that young adults in affordable housing often face while pursuing higher education. Affordable housing residents who meet eligibility requirements are encouraged to apply for scholarship funding from the Related Affordable Foundation, with awards made on a rolling basis. For more information, visit