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Lt. Gov. Austin Davis Announces $1.34 Million in PCCD First Chance Trust Fund Scholarship Awards


July 10, 2023

Contact: Kirstin Alvanitakis,
               Kirsten Kenyon,

Harrisburg, PA – As Chair of the Pennsylvania Commission on Crime and Delinquency (PCCD), Lt. Gov. Austin A. Davis announced $1.34 million in First Chance Trust Fund Program awards to implement pilot scholarship programs that benefit at-risk students in communities with prominent high school dropout rates and incarceration rates.

"Every young person in Pennsylvania should be able to pursue their dreams, no matter what their circumstance," said Lt. Gov. Davis. "The First Chance Trust Fund Program offers a pathway for hundreds of students to fulfill their potential, whether continuing their education, starting their career, or launching a business."

Six grants were awarded through the inaugural First Chance Trust Fund Program to four community-based organizations and two school districts. PCCD called for proposals earlier this year from eligible school districts and community-based organizations in specific areas of the state. The proposals aimed to provide scholarships to at-risk students, along with programmatic supports like mentoring and counseling. The scholarships will cover various forms of financial support, including tuition, vocational training expenses, business ventures, and career development. Students that have experienced victimization or that have, or had, incarcerated primary caregivers are expected to receive priority consideration under the program.

The six applicants selected for an award (see listing below) represent the inaugural pilot class for the First Chance Trust Fund Program.  Applicant proposals ranged from smaller scholarship efforts supporting year-to-year incidentals (e.g., books, supplies) to more comprehensive financial support for four-year higher education endeavors. Award recipients will be expected to work with PCCD to track program outcomes and monitor the effectiveness of their approach over time.

"I was proud to lead the effort to establish the First Chance Trust Fund. This program has the power to change lives," said State Senator Vincent Hughes (D-Philadelphia). "With these grants, we're providing hope and opportunity for youth and the communities that support them. By empowering these young people, we're implementing a proactive solution to stop gun violence, to help children deal with mental health and trauma, and to address the long-term effects of poverty. If we give at-risk youth a chance and provide them with opportunities to better themselves, they can break generational cycles of poverty and crime and achieve more than they ever thought possible."

"I am glad to have been a part of the workgroup that helped organize the First Chance Trust Fund Scholarship," said State Representative Cheryl Delozier (R-Cumberland). "I look forward to seeing the impact of this program on young adults and students to help break the cycle of crime victims and those in the judicial system.  The capability of PCCD to recognize those who need and deserve support through our local school districts and community organizations is critical."

More information about the First Chance Trust Fund program, including an opportunity to make a private donation to the Fund, can be found on PCCD's First Chance Trust Fund ( website.



NameRecommended Award AmountEligible School Districts Identified by the Applicant to Select Eligible Students for Scholarships
Adelphoi$137,500Albert Gallatin Area SD, Aliquippa SD, Altoona Area SD, Brownsville Area SD, Charleroi SD, Connellsville Area SD, Jeannette City SD, Laurel Highlands SD, McKeesport Area SD, Monessen City SD, New Kensington-Arnold SD, Uniontown Area SD
Communities in Schools PA$165,000Allentown City SD, Duquesne City SD, Greater Johnstown SD, Lebanon SD, Reading SD, Sto-Rox SD, York City SD
CONCERN - Professional Services for Children, Youth and Families$300,000Allentown City SD, Berwick Area SD, Chester-Upland SD, Chichester SD, Coatesville Area SD, Galeton Area SD, Hanover Area SD, Jersey Shore Area SD, Lebanon SD, Midd-West SD, Northern Lebanon SD, Panther Valley SD, Philadelphia City SD, Pottstown SD, Reading SD, Sayre Area SD, Scranton SD, Shamokin Area SD, Shikellamy SD, Southeast Delco SD, Towanda Area SD, Troy Area SD, Wilkes-Barre Area SD, Williams Valley SD, Wyalusing Area SD
Greater Philadelphia YMCA$300,000Norristown Area SD, Philadelphia City SD, Pottstown SD
Pittsburgh SD (with Amachi)$300,000Pittsburgh SD
Steelton-Highspire SD (with True Colors and Neighboring Academy)$137,500Steelton-Highspire SD

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