On August 23, 2007, Judy Miller, CEO of The Gabe W. Miller Memorial Foundation, presented its 2nd scholarship of 2007 to Christopher S. Perri, a final year MSW student at Loyola University Chicago (LUC). Perri, an alum of Temple University in Philadelphia, received his first master's degree, in child development, from Chicago's Erikson Institute last spring, and expects his MSW from LUC in the spring of 2008. Professor Jack C. Wall, Dean of Loyola's School of Social Work, confirmed a matching $2,500 scholarship to Perri, in the form of a tuition credit.
The development of Christopher's calling to the social work profession began with his sensitization to social differences and injustice as the son of an immigrant. As a college freshman, he became involved with the Wrongful Conviction and Death Penalty Movement, distributing leaflets and participating in protest rallies. Later he also lived with The Navajo Nation, worked the land and tried to be helpful to a population under stress.
Christopher's focus sharpened when he had the opportunity to work as a support person for families of children with special needs, including autism, in both home and school settings. He learned how to design therapeutic strategies in collaboration with professionals in allied disciplines. Perri acquired the knowledge and skills to provide Developmental Play Therapy, facilitate integration of his clients with typically developing children and to coach the parents of the special children on how to reinforce and enhance effective play and social interaction with and for their kids.
Christopher's musical ability and an entrepreneurial spirit have led him to create a Hip-Hop Workshop for disadvantaged inner-city youth. This subject area allows him to reach the children in a place where they currently are. This program, in refinement since 2001, develops rhythm and poetry awareness and abilities, builds upon the children's literacy skills and helps the development of positive identity. It has been presented at three venues in the Philadelphia area and is currently presented at a residential foster care facility in Chicagoland. A video about the Hip-Hop Workshop, Profiles in Service II, shown at the 3rd Annual Celebration of Life Dinner, proved to be very interesting and entertaining.
Christopher's many years of hands-on experience combined with his graduate education at the Erickson Institute and currently at LUC serve as a propellant into social work in general and into helping the developmentally disabled children and adults who live in our communities.
Most of the communities that Christopher has helped and wants to continue to help are the same populations that were Gabe's beneficiaries.
Gabe's Foundation is thankful to have found Christopher Perri and proud to be able to assist in supporting him in the final year of his MSW program.For further information, please contact The Foundation.
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|1st Gabe Miller Scholar||Trish Snell, M.S.W., University of Denver, 2006; Ph.D., Notre Dame University|
|2nd Gabe Miller Scholar||Dawn Davis, Illinois State University|
|3rd Gabe Miller Scholar||Lauren White, Illinois State University|
|4th Gabe Miller Scholar||Cheryl Lockett, Illinois State University|
|5th Gabe Miller Scholar||Shani L. Trapp, University of Illinois|
|6th Gabe Miller Scholar||Christopher S. Perri, Loyola University Chicago (LUC)|
|7th Gabe Miller Scholar||Carlos F. Moran, University of Southern California (USC)|
|8th Gabe Miller Scholar||Audrey L. Tousant, University of Southern California (USC)|
|9th Gabe Miller Scholar||Thomas J. Malczyk, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign (UI)|
|10th Gabe Miller Scholar||Rachael Dietkus-Miller, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign (UI)|
|11th Gabe Miller Scholar||Stephanie D. Moss, University of Southern California (USC)|
|12th Gabe Miller Scholar||Ananda Leinartas, Jane Addams College of Social Work of the University of Illinois, Chicago|
|13th Gabe Miller Scholar||Zuleika Andrade, University of Southern California (USC) School of Social Work|
|14th Gabe Miller Scholar||Kristopher Koester, University of Illinois at Urbana Champaign (UIUC) School of Social Work|
|15th Gabe Miller Scholar||Whitney Welsh, University of Illinois at Urbana Champaign (UIUC) School of Social Work|
|16th Gabe Miller Scholar||Jana Hernandez, Loyola University Chicago|
|17th Gabe Miller Scholar||Lauren Higbee, University of Illinois Chicago / Jane Addams Colllege of Social Work|
|18th Gabe Miller Scholar||Lauren Belding, University of Illinois, Chicago / Jane Addams College of Social Work|
|19th Gabe Miller Scholar||Jennifer Copeland, Loyola University, Chicago|
|20th Gabe Miller Scholar||Jenny Vu, University of Southern California|
|21st Gabe Miller Scholar||Alison Lehner, Loyola University, Chicago|
|22nd Gabe Miller Scholar||Annie Azriel, University of Illinois, Chicago / Jane Addams College of Social Work|
|23rd Gabe Miller Scholar||Danielle Perry, University of Illinois at Urbana Champaign (UIUC) School of Social Work|
|24th Gabe Miller Scholar||Raji Shivshanker, University of Southern California|
|25th Gabe Miller Scholar||Lynette De Dios, University of Illinois, Chicago / Jane Addams College of Social Work|
|26th Gabe Miller Scholar||Nakisa Choupani, University of Southern California|
|27th Gabe Miller Scholar||Sarah Mesick, Loyola University, Chicago|
|28th Gabe Miller Scholar||Ashley N. Grabb, University of Illinois at Urbana Champaign|
|29th Gabe Miller Scholar||Ivan Gonzalez, University of Southern California|
|30th Gabe Miller Scholar||Tiara Smith, University of Illinois, Chicago / Jane Addams College of Social Work|
|31st Gabe Miller Scholar||Candyss Newman, Loyola University, Chicago|
|32nd Gabe Miller Scholar||Melissa Farmer, University of Illinois at Urbana Champaign|