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September 30, 2011

Proviso East High School’s Class of 1996 donated $800 to Common Roots Initiative (CRI) to be used toward CRI’s student scholarship. The Class of 1996 requested that their donation go to a Class of 2012 Proviso East graduate pursuing higher education.

The class gift was presented to CRI after the Class of 1996 celebrated its 15-year reunion the weekend of September 16. The PEHS Class of 1996 Reunion Planning Committee decided that collaborating with CRI to provide the scholarship was a good fit.

“We were introduced to CRI and its mission and we decided that the two working together would be a winning combination,” said Antoinette Dawkins Gray, Chairman of the Reunion Planning Committee.

Dawkins Gray said that the Class of 1996 alumni wanted to help provide secondary-education opportunities for this generation of students, particularly during these tough economic times when some private and nonprofit funding may not be as readily available.

“We wanted to give one student help to continue their education beyond Proviso East,” added Dawkins Gray.

CRI President Soumya Rao was thrilled to receive the class donation, which will go a long way toward providing the $1,000 student scholarship.

“I am pleased with the support we’ve been getting, especially from other alumni,” Rao said. “It brings great joy to me that people want to give back to the school that we attended.”

Rao added that the support from the community solidified her belief that CRI’s mission is important and needed.

“I am glad that we are able to help out other people who want to give back. We are able to fulfill their goals through our work,” she said.

Anyone interested in helping with CRI’s mission to provide scholarships to teachers and students in the underserved area of west suburban Cook County should visit