SOURCE: Horatio Alger Association

November 17, 2007 00:00 ET

Former Homeless Student Surprised With $20,000 Scholarship From the Horatio Alger Association After Boston Concert Performance

Talented Musician Kyla Middleton Is Example of Overcoming Adversity

WASHINGTON, DC--(Marketwire - November 17, 2007) - The Horatio Alger Association of Distinguished Americans presented former homeless teen Kyla Middleton with a scholarship of $20,000 in college financial assistance during the Give Us Your Poor celebrity benefit concert at the Strand Theater in Dorchester last night. The concert was part of a two-day "Boston Helps the Homeless" initiative hosted by the City of Boston and the Fannie Mae Foundation. Singer/songwriter Natalie Merchant, blues/soul singer Mighty Sam McClain and celebrated Greek tenor Mario Frangoulis performed along with formerly homeless artists. All artists are featured on the 2007 CD "Give Us Your Poor: 17 New Recordings to Help End Homelessness."

Twelve-year-old Kyla, whose song "We Stand Tall" is included on the CD, lived in a shelter with her mother and two brothers during her fourth grade school year. Despite the economic struggles her family faced, the turmoil of their living conditions and the stigma of being homeless, Kyla managed to finish the school year at the top of her class. The Medford, MA teen now speaks publicly about the need to address the homelessness problem in the U.S. She has spoken before crowds at the University of Massachusetts Boston, Boston University New Students Community Service events, the National Coalition for the Homeless, Homes for Families statewide conventions and campaign rallies for public officials.

"The story Kyla has to tell, and her courage in sharing her vulnerabilities, has a powerful effect on people," said Terrence J. Giroux, executive director of the Horatio Alger Association of Distinguished Americans. "Kyla is like so many of the students that the Association hopes to help with our scholarship program. She has been brave in the face of adversity, but is in need of assistance to make the dream of a brighter future a reality. We believe this scholarship will open doors that may have otherwise been closed to this gifted young girl."

The Horatio Alger Association has become one of the largest need-based scholarship programs in the country. Scholarships are awarded to students who have demonstrated integrity and perseverance in overcoming adversity and hardships in their lives while demonstrating strength of character, strong academics, commitment to pursue a college education and desire to contribute to society. The Association also provides $12 million in scholarships to students and military veterans.

About The Horatio Alger Association

This year, the Horatio Alger Association is celebrating its 60th anniversary. Founded in 1947, the Horatio Alger Association of Distinguished Americans continues to fulfill its mission of honoring the achievements of outstanding individuals in our society who have succeeded in spite of adversity and of encouraging young people to pursue their dreams through higher education. The Horatio Alger Association offers three annual scholarship programs: the National Scholarship Program and various state scholarship programs for high school seniors and the Horatio Alger Military Veterans Scholarship Program for U.S. veterans of the Afghanistan and Iraq conflicts. For more information about the scholarship programs, please visit www.horatioalger.org

Contact Information

  • Contact:
    Kristin Perkins Magur
    Qorvis Communications
    202-683-3112