Charlotte Housing Authority Scholarship Fund Announces Name Change to Greater Steps Scholars

The new name strengthens the mission of the organization — to provide every child living in subsidized housing an opportunity for and expectation of a college education

Charlotte, NC (July 20, 2020) — The Charlotte Housing Authority Scholarship Fund (CHASF), an entity that seeks to make a college education possible for every student living in Charlotte subsidized housing, has announced a name change. Moving forward, the organization will be known as Greater Steps Scholars.

The organization’s mission will continue to be the same: to serve as a vehicle of hope for students living in Charlotte subsidized housing that have a desire to achieve but lack financial means. Through a blend of financial aid and one-on-one coaching with a professional mentor, Greater Steps inspires students through their post-secondary education journeys and helps them become independent, self-reliant members of their communities.

The name change is over three and half years in the making and comes as a result of several interviews with a variety of the organization’s stakeholders, including current program scholars, board members, partner organizations, alumni, and donors. The interviews were designed to understand current perceptions of CHASF as well as determine opportunities for reaching new CHASF audiences and increasing engagement and support.

“We learned two crucial points in our research,” says Strothers. “The first was a misconception among prospective and current donors that the fund is part of INLIVINAN and therefore, receives government funding. We have a great partnership with INLIVIAN, and our programming benefits students living in INLIVIAN-managed residences, but we are separate entities and rely solely on individual and private-sector support,” she says. “Another discovery was that many current students and alumni felt the former name was a mismatch for the aspirational and inspirational nature of the program.”

Greater Steps Scholars was launched in 1983 by Dr. John Crawford, a former Youth Services Coordinator at INLIVIAN. Crawford was approached by a young INLIVIAN resident who needed $300 to be able to return to college for his senior year. He and a friend pooled their resources and helped the student return to school and knew there were hundreds of other students who were residents of public housing and had the same limited financial resources. With the help of several advisors and community members, he officially launched Greater Steps Scholars the next year. Since 1984, the Greater Steps Foundation has awarded 940 scholarships totaling $3.8 million in funds — 95 of those being for the 2020-2021 school year.

The name change and updated branding pay tribute to the fund’s impactful history while looking ahead to its bright future. “Greater Steps Scholars has grown from simply providing partial scholarships to offering a wrap-around service of one-on-one mentors, connections to internship opportunities, and workshops that teach students the financial and soft skills needed to be successful,” Strothers says. “Steps lead you out, but Greater Steps lead you up, and the new name better showcases the opportunity and impact the program provides for its scholars while retaining its sense of pride.”


About Greater Steps Scholars

Greater Steps Scholars, formerly the Charlotte Housing Authority Scholarship Fund, is a fund designed to make certain that every child living in housing subsidized by INLIVIAN has both the opportunity for the expectation of a college education. In addition to financial aid, Greater Steps Scholars provides programming designed to inspire young people to work toward becoming independent, self-reliant citizens of the community by lending a helping hand. Since its inception, nearly 940 scholarships totaling $3.8 million have been awarded. For more information, visit