The Hope Chest Scholarship Foundation has its roots in Morristown, NJ where a visionary committee saw the need to provide greater assistance to minority youth seeking to obtain a college education. It is a story of grit, hard work, and proof that a small group of people committed to a cause, can make a difference. Organized in 1988 initially as a community outreach committee, The Hope Chest Scholarship Foundation, originally serviced the greater Morris County area providing financial support to high school seniors and contributing to service organizations benefiting youth. In 2000, the Foundation broadened its scope beyond Morris County to encompass the entire state of New Jersey, and shifted its focus to
providing need-based scholarships to a more diverse group of minority students who are legal residents of New Jersey and matriculating full-time at a post-secondary educational institution. Students represent high schools throughout the state: urban to rural, first generation college attendees, homes where English is the second language, and homes where a college education was an elusive dream. These students have not only realized the dream of attending college, they have graduated and now pursue a variety of careers. Many Hope Chest Scholars are now professionals with major employers.
During the early years, the Foundation raised the funds to provide scholarships through local activities including the Hoops for Hope Basketball Tournament which showcased community-based, church, and corporate teams in a weekend tournament. Other activities included dinner sales, raffles, and auctions. In 2000, the Golf Classic was launched. Having accepted the greater challenge, which involved supporting a larger and more diverse student population, the organization recognized the need for a broader base for its funding.
In 2002, the Foundation became an independent 501(c)(3) tax-exempt charitable organization allowing it to support more students while also providing a benefit to those who provided financial support. Our mission has resonated with many including small businesses, fortune 500 companies, churches, community groups, other non-profit organizations, and individuals who have and continue to respond with active participation in our events, programs, and fund-raising activities. As the organization has evolved, so has the composition and membership of its board. It remains, however, a group of committed volunteers dedicated to providing access to a college education.