Oratorical Festival Scholarships

Every year during Black History Month, Harold Washington College has an Oratorical Festival where students memorize tribute speeches and compete for scholarship money. They audition in January to obtain a slot in the festival where the top six entries then have the chance to obtain scholarships in February. Currently, this festival is named after Sydney R. Daniels, a faculty member who was immensely innovative, creative, and provided unspeakable mentorship to our students, and the upcoming festival in 2018 will be the 30th anniversary of its inception. In the past, we were able to provide scholarships for our festival winners through our own departmental funds. However, with recent changes to the way scholarships and awards are distributed, we can no longer do this. Last year we had to suspend the event because we had no scholarships to give.

It is my goal to raise $3,000 for these students, which would more than double the amounts we have given in the past. This is a lofty goal. As many of you know, the arts are continually underfunded, and our Oratorical Festival is no exception. In the five years I have been at Harold Washington  College, we have seen drastic cuts to this particular event. We understand the value of this scholarship competition; to provide students with presentation skills that will carry into the work force, both in the written and spoken word. Furthermore, we would like to keep this program alive and well for many more years to come. We truly do not want it to be a victim of budget cuts, particularly when communication is so important in today's global economy.

Your donation will directly go to the CCC Foundation as part of the newly constructed Dorothy J. Clark Oratorical Scholarship. In order to create the scholarship and filter more money into it, I have to first have a minimum of $500. However, the overall goal for all the scholarships is $3,000 (with first place obtaining $1,000). The CCC Foundation is a 501(c)(3), and we will be more than happy to issue you forms for tax purposes if you need them. 

The Festival will take place Tuesday, February 27, 2018. Please support our students here in Chicago by donating to this worthy cause to keep our program alive.

Thank you!
-Sunny Serres
Harold Washington College
  • Kristin Bivens & Gustav Wiberg 
    • $100 
    • 42 mos
  • Emily Serres 
    • $50 
    • 42 mos
  • Jacqueline Cunningham 
    • $20 
    • 43 mos
  • John Armendarez 
    • $200 
    • 43 mos
  • Leonard Mayersky 
    • $100 
    • 43 mos
See all


SJ Serres 
Chicago, IL
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