Program provides supplies, teaches college students

DECATUR, Ill. (WAND) - Graduating seniors are now headed off to college, but the big jump can be scary to first generation students.

The Greater Decatur Black Chamber of Commerce is helping families making that transition. The organization selects scholars from Decatur and not only gives them supplies, but educates them for the future.

"We want to teach these students how to be responsible and how to budget their money so they can be successful adults, said GDBCC President Tammy Fuller.

On top of giving scholars the opportunity to volunteer to raise money for their supplies, the chamber also gives them classes to help learn financial literacy. On top of that, the chamber also educates parents on how to help with applying for schools, financial aid and what the student needs before taking off.

This is the fourth year for the sendoff, and overall the organization has sent more than 100 students off to college. WAND News spoke to some of the scholars and they told us what this program means to them. 

"When you come from a single-parent home and things like that, it's harder for you to get everything you need," one scholar said.  

"I would have had to do all the finances on my own," another scholar said. "I would have had to buy all the supplies on my own." 

To donate to the Scholar Sendoff program, or even sponsor a scholar, head to the Greater Decatur Black Chamber of Commerce Facebook page at