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"The Tassel Is Worth The Hassel," Says Yasmine Arrington, Founder of ScholarCHIPS

From Humble Beginnings, Yasmine Rose Above Her Circumstances then Created College Opportunities for Other Students and Leaders. Ms. Arrington is Interviewed by Debbi Dachinger on Dare To Dream Radio.
    LOS ANGELES, CA, July 24, 2013 /24-7PressRelease/ -- Yasmine Arrington was born and raised in Washington, DC and is currently a Strategic Communications and History major at Elon University in Elon, North Carolina. At Elon, Arrington sings and serves in the Elon University Gospel Choir, is the PR Chair for the Black Cultural Society, and is an Elon Arts & Sciences College Fellow. In 2010, Arrington founded the non-profit ScholarCHIPS to raise college dollars for high school graduates with parents in prison pursuing a higher education. Arrington has also received several national recognitions as a Jack Kent Cooke College Scholar, 2011 AXA National Achiever, Abramson Foundation Scholar, Washington Redskins College Success Foundation Leadership 1000 Scholar, a 2012 BET Black Girls Rock MA.D. (Making a Difference) Girl, as a Linowes Leadership "Unsung Heroes Award" Youth Recipient and the Curves Rock Weekend's 2013 Curvy Spokesmodel.

Arrington's latest project is her blog entitled, "Young, Black, and Beautiful...In College," in which she examines the realities of being a black female attending a college and aims to excite youth about the vast possibilities of a collegiate experience. In addition, Arrington is a poet, blogger, motivational speaker, and plus size model. She aspires to be a radio personality and TV show host; two occupations that will allow and empower her to inform the community about social injustices, recognize entrepreneurial businesses, and highlight positive changes taking place.

If you look at her humble beginnings, Washington D.C. native, Yasmine Arrington was not supposed to succeed. She and her two younger brothers lived with their grandmother most of their lives, even when their mother had passed away Yasmine's freshman year of high school.

Both her mother and grandmother were single parents, often struggling to make ends meet. Yasmine's father was absent from her life as he was in and out of prison. She missed having the opportunity to develop a relationship with him growing up, but while in prison, he reached out to her and they began developing a relationship through letter correspondence. Yasmine was fortunate in that way, as many young people in similar situations never have the opportunity to start or reconcile relationships with a parent behind bars. Yasmine understood that because of her socio-economic background she would be marginalized by some and thought unable to succeed, but with the respect for education that her mother instilled in her, encouragement from her grandmother, support and love from her teachers, church and the community, Yasmine rose above her circumstances and continued to set the bar high for herself, with far-reaching goals, including going to college. At 18, she was accepted to Elon University in Elon, North Carolina, with $30,000 worth of scholarships in-hand, from multiple organizations. Now at 20-years-old, Yasmine is a junior at Elon University, majoring in Strategic Communications and History.

In 2010, Yasmine founded her own non-profit organization, ScholarCHIPS, which awards scholarships to high school graduating seniors of incarcerated parents going to college. ScholarCHIPS has been featured in The Washington Post, Teen Vogue, Essence, The Pendulum, and Youth Venture Blog.

"An estimated 200,000 children in this country have an imprisoned mother and more than 1.6 million have an imprisoned father. With the nation's incarcerated population growing by an average of 6.5% each year, the number of children with parents in prison will likely continue to increase. Parental incarceration and the crimes and arrests that precede it causes chaos in the lives of these children, including traumatic separations and erratic shifts from one caregiver to another. Most children with incarcerated parents live in poverty before, during, and after their parents' incarceration."---Johnston, D. The Care and Placement of Prisoners' Children.

These facts coupled with Yasmine's personal experiences as a child of an incarcerated parent are the reasons why ScholarCHIPS exists and the reason why we all have a stake in the success of the children of incarcerated parents.

Stats on Incarceration
▪ The United States is home to 5% of the world's people and 25% of the world's prisoners.
▪ In D.C., 50% of high school student's graduates, but only 15% of those students attend college---U.S. Department of Education
▪ More than one in every 100 adults in America are in jail or prison The Pew Charitable Trusts
▪ Between 1995 and 2005, the number of incarcerated women in the U.S. increased by 57% prisoners in 2005. --U.S. Department of Justice, Bureau of Justice Statistics
▪ Sixty-three percent of federal prisoners and 55 percent of state prisoners are parents of children under age 18.U.S. Department of Justice
▪ The average stay in a foster care for a child with an incarcerated parent is 3.9 years.U.S. Department of Education
▪ There is a disparate impact on families of color, with African American children nine times more likely and Hispanic children three times more likely than white children to have a parent in prison--- U.S. Department of Justice
▪ Parental incarceration creates additional challenges for children and families often resulting in financial instability and material hardship, with financial problems the most severe for already vulnerable families and caregivers who support contact between the incarcerated parent and his or her child.---Parental Incarceration in Fragile Families: Summary of Three Year Findings

Today, Yasmine Arrington is the Founder & Executive Director of ScholarCHIPS. As Yasmine shares, "If no one gave me a chance, if no one believed in me, I never would have made it to college. That is why I'm so very passionate about making sure the children of incarcerated parents get a fighting chance! Americans know well that education is the key to having access to the American Dream, but what about those who cannot afford a college education? The work I do with ScholarCHIPS is personal. We cannot ignore the youth who are potentially tomorrow's most influential leaders. I've learned that if we all do our part to help other people, we will all benefit. If anything, always remember, "The tassel is worth the hassle!" and it is!"

To learn more, listen to Debbi Dachinger as she interviews Yasmine Arrington on Dare to Dream radio, listen via podcast at: Debbi's Dare to Dream radio show is a syndicated, multi-award winning program, featured in news sources around the world. Dachinger is a bestselling author, keynote speaker and media personality. Dare to Dream radio airs live on the following stations: Indie 100 (out of Burbank, CA), the Morning Inspiration show: Wed-Fri 9-11 AM PT, and SAT & SUN 11 AM - 1 PM PT, and syndicates on WROM Radio (Detroit), WHTB (Massachusetts) and Butterfly Radio (Florida).

Debbi Dachinger's "Dare to Dream" radio show is a syndicated, multi-award winning program. It's been featured in online news sources around the world. Author of the three-time bestselling book "Dare to Dream: This Life Counts," Debbi is often heard as an interview guest on other radio and TV shows; in addition, Debbi is an inspirational keynote speaker and a spokeswoman on panels. "Dare to Dream" radio enlightens and entertains listeners in an exciting paradigm that intertwines metaphysics with a talk show format. It's a show that's needed as people are moving towards new ways of living and doing business and desiring tools to make their passions, goals and dreams come true. "Dare to Dream" is very popular with a large listener following (2.7 million listeners per episode). Hear "Dare to Dream" radio live worldwide or on by podcast: (and on iTunes).

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