Chicago State University Essence of An Angel Photos


The Essence of an Angel Scholarship Luncheon, held recently at Chicago State University, celebrated the achievements of single moms who have made positive impacts to Chicago State University and the surrounding Chicago community.   The fundraiser provides financial support for single mothers who attend CSU.

The 2013 Essence of an Angel honorees included Jacquelyn Tolliver, an executive in Cook County’s Traffic Bureau has been legally blind since infancy; City Treasurer Stephanie Neely came from a family of entrepreneurs and turned a career in high stakes finance into one of public service; Dee Robinson Reid parleyed a business creating gift baskets into an airport concessions franchise serving multiple cities across the country; Norma Williams had her AHA! moment while standing in an unemployment line and founded a staffing and consulting firm that has employed thousands; and CSU senior Deborah Wilborn  defied the odds after being born to a drug addicted mother by obtaining a degree in accounting with plans to pursue a Masters. 

Scholarship recipients include CSU seniors Ebony Blair, Secondary Education Major; Tyler Louise James, Sociology Major and Elizabeth  Soria, Sr. Studio Art Major. 

Any full-time CSU student, who is a single mother, is not currently a scholarship recipient and meets the grade point average criteria may apply for more info, visit

“Connecting our students to these exemplary leaders who also recognize the challenge, responsibility and joy of raising children offers a powerful message to our students,” says Katéy Assem executive director of the CSU Foundation. “Success is not determined by your challenging circumstances, but rather by your will to succeed.”

This year’s Essence of An Angel event was sponsored by Macy’s, The Chicago Defender, F.O.G. Cosmetics, Africa International House, USA and UPS.

Photos by Tarji Smedley. Join the photographer on Friday, May 31, at 7 p.m. at the Grand opening of IJORERE Atelier luxe events venue, 51 S. Spring Street, Suite 125A Elgin, IL 60120.

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