Celebrities & Pop Culture

Kelly Ripa And Mark Consuelos Gave 20 Homeless Students College Scholarships

Homelessness is affecting millions of students across the nation.

If your child attends public school, there’s a good chance they have a classmate who doesn’t have a steady place to call home.

The National Center for Homeless Education reports that more than 1.5 million students enrolled in public schools in the United States were homeless during the 2017-2018 school year. That’s about 3% of the nearly 51 million kids who are enrolled in American public schools.

What’s more, the number of students dealing with homelessness increased by 15% during the last three school years. The Institute for Children, Poverty & Homelessness states that only 41% of students in the class of 2018 who experienced homelessness graduated on time and that homeless students are far less prepared for higher education than their housed classmates are.

TV host Kelly Ripa and her husband, actor Mark Consuelos, announced they’re teaming up with an organization called Win, which is the largest provider of shelters and services for homeless families in New York City, to help 20 of those students make the leap to college.

Thanks to a $500,000 donation from the couple, Win established a scholarship fund that will help students who are homeless and starting college this fall. Win shared the news on Twitter.

“SO grateful for @KellyRipa & @MarkConsuelos for creating the 1st-ever Win Scholarship Fund, equipping 20 of our college-bound students w/ laptops & covering expenses like books + transpo,” the organization tweeted. “TY for making our students’ college dreams come true!”

An impressive 60% of Win-supported graduating high school seniors are attending college this semester, which is comparatively close to the 66.2% of all 2019 high school graduates enrolled in colleges or universities reported by the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics.

“Mark and I are so excited to help these students in whatever small way we can,” Ripa told People. “Starting college is a pivotal moment for so many and being a part of this time is really special for our family. We know each of these scholarship recipients has a bright future ahead and we can’t wait to see what amazing things they accomplish!”

If you would like to find out more about donating, volunteering or supporting the organization in other ways, visit winnyc.org.