1,000 Scholarships and Counting - For 40 years, John Crawford has helped youth in public housing attend college.

What's Next for this one-of-a-kind Charlotte scholarship?

May 2024 Charlotte Observer article
John Crawford and Christopher Davis meet in west Charlotte. Christopher lived in multiple public housing developments and became one of 1,000 students Crawford helped over the past 40 years.

Charlotte, NC (May 2024 - by Lisa Vernon Sparks) — Sometime in the early 1970s, John Crawford received an offer he couldn't refuse.

The Charlotte Housing Authority approached him about a job working with families and children who lived in its dozens of complexes. Crawford, then a school teacher and coach, loved working with children. It was a natural fit and he accepted the offer.

But early in the gig, Crawford saw things he found troubling - prostitution, drug dealing and teens overdosing at some of the properties, making it an unsafe environment, he said.

"I wanted to change that," he said.