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AGSF Announces Scholarships for Children of Incarcerated Parents

Ava's Grace Scholarship Foundation (AGSF) is announcing open scholarships for children of incarcerated parents in the State of Missouri. Beginning in 2012, AGSF hopes to award ten $5,000 scholarships on an annual basis.

Currently, there are no scholarship programs or other incentives for higher education specifically for children impacted by incarceration - in Missouri or across the nation. AGSF scholarships can be used at four-year colleges and universities as well as two-year programs, trade, and technical schools. The scholarships are renewable every year the student stays in school and performs satisfactorily in their program as defined by their institution.

Applications will be available starting January 2012. Visit for more information.

AGSF is an innovative not-for-profit entity whose mission is to one day break the cycle of incarceration through the gift of education.

Happy Holidays from STAR

Happy Holidays to the St. Louis community from STAR! STAR and its supporters wish everyone a happy and healthy holiday season, and a great new year.

For those of you who are not currently a fan of the STAR Facebook page, head over to and check out the valuable information!

Registration Open for Webinar that "Unravels" Myths About Federal Reentry Policies

Registration is now open for "Webinar: Unraveling Myths Around Federal Reentry Policies that Affect Your Clients," which will take place December 20 from 1-2:30 p.m.

Practitioners who work with people returning from prison and jail are often confused by the various federal policies that affect their clients’ access to benefits, job opportunities, housing, financial obligations, and more. Join the webinar for this unprecedented opportunity to hear federal officials dispel myths and explain the facts about federal policies pertaining to the reentry population.

The webinar is sponsored by the Federal Interagency Reentry Council, a partnership among 19 federal agencies that is chaired by Attorney General Eric Holder. Staff from Reentry Council agencies will discuss the “Reentry MythBusters,” one-page fact sheets designed to bring clarity and transparency to federal reentry policies. The 22 MythBusters describe federal policies related to housing, access to benefits, veterans issues, employment, and juvenile issues, among others

Funding Opportunity Made Available by Dept. of Veterans Affairs

The Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) has announced $100 million in grants made available for 2012 to community agencies that assist low income Veterans and families facing homelessness. These funds are offered through "Supportive Services for Veteran Families (SSVF) program", a homeless-prevention and rapid re-housing program established by the VA in 2011.

The SSVF program funding provides community organizations with the finances to provide counseling, training, education assistance, direct time-limited financial assistance, transportation, child care, rent, utilities, and other services aimed at preventing homelessness or providing homes for participating veterans and family members.

The available funds were announced via Notice of Funding Availability (NOFA) posted on the federal register and at VA's SSVF website.

In December and January, VA is sponsoring free workshops to review the grant. Community organizations interested in applying for funds under this program can use the SSVF website to find dates for workshops in Atlanta, Baltimore, Denver, Oakland, and Kansas City. Material presented at the workshops will also be available on the SSVF website. Community organizations seeking more information on the SSVF program can also contact VA at 1-877-737-0111 or at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

Center for Women in Transition to Help Make "Dreams" Come True at Upcoming Event

Join The Center for Women in Transition on December 8 for a special evening of poetry, performances, and art during "The Stuff That Dreams Are Made Of." The night will feature the Prison Performing Arts Alumni Theatre Company, live painting by Vesna Delevska (art piece to be auctioned at event), and more!

The event will be held at the Centene Center (3547 Olive Street, St. Louis 63103). Doors open at 6:30 p.m., with the performance at 7 p.m., followed by a dessert reception at 8 p.m. Please mark your calendars for an evening to benefit Center for Women in Transition, assisting women returning from prison since 1997. The Center for Women in Transition assists women in the criminal justice system in making a successful transition to their families and communities through practicing and promoting restorative justice.

Tickets can be purchased HERE.

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