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BMO helps fund college scholarships for Chicago students through $1 million donation to Hope Chicago

October 18, 2021 | Giving and sponsorships

Today, BMO announced a $1 million donation to Hope Chicago to support the organization’s mission of helping Chicago Public School graduates and their families pursue higher education and graduate debt free. Eric Smith, Vice Chairman, BMO Harris Bank, joined Hope Chicago CEO Dr. Janice Jackson for the announcement at Chicago State University, where the 2021 cohort of Hope Chicago scholars was introduced.

“Our Purpose at BMO is to boldly grow the good in business and life, and we are very proud to be Hope Chicago’s first corporate partner,” said Eric. “We encourage Chicago’s business community to join us in supporting this incredibly impactful new organization, which will focus on reducing social and economic inequity by dramatically increasing the availability of scholarship funding to local students who are most in need.”

Because cost is the number one reason that students drop out of college, Hope Chicago is focused on raising $1 billion over the next decade to dramatically increase the amount of money that is available for post-secondary scholarships and non-tuition costs, while also providing other forms of support including counseling, mentoring and career guidance.

“I am so grateful for BMO Financial Group stepping up to the plate as Hope Chicago’s first corporate sponsor,” said Dr. Janice K. Jackson, CEO of Hope Chicago. “The BMO team shares our belief that a two-generation model like Hope Chicago has the potential to change the lives of Chicago families and neighborhoods. It will take Chicago’s entire community, including civic and business leaders, to help redefine the education landscape and put our students and their families on a path to greater success.  We welcome others to join BMO as a significant supporter of Hope Chicago.”

Aligned with our commitment to zero barriers to inclusion, BMO will also be actively involved in helping provide financial literacy programming and mentoring, as well as employment and internship opportunities to Hope Chicago scholars. Learn more about Hope Chicago’s mission to reduce economic and social inequity on its website.

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