2nd SCHOLARSHIP of 2007, 6th OVERALL

ChrisOn 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 ScholarTrish Snell, M.S.W., University of Denver, 2006; Ph.D., Notre Dame University
2nd Gabe Miller ScholarDawn Davis, Illinois State University
3rd Gabe Miller ScholarLauren White, Illinois State University
4th Gabe Miller ScholarCheryl Lockett, Illinois State University
5th Gabe Miller ScholarShani L. Trapp, University of Illinois
6th Gabe Miller ScholarChristopher S. Perri, Loyola University Chicago (LUC)
7th Gabe Miller ScholarCarlos F. Moran, University of Southern California (USC)
8th Gabe Miller ScholarAudrey L. Tousant, University of Southern California (USC)
9th Gabe Miller ScholarThomas J. Malczyk, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign (UI)
10th Gabe Miller ScholarRachael Dietkus-Miller, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign (UI)
11th Gabe Miller ScholarStephanie D. Moss, University of Southern California (USC)
12th Gabe Miller ScholarAnanda Leinartas, Jane Addams College of Social Work of the University of Illinois, Chicago
13th Gabe Miller ScholarZuleika Andrade, University of Southern California (USC) School of Social Work
14th Gabe Miller ScholarKristopher Koester, University of Illinois at Urbana Champaign (UIUC) School of Social Work
15th Gabe Miller ScholarWhitney Welsh, University of Illinois at Urbana Champaign (UIUC) School of Social Work
16th Gabe Miller ScholarJana Hernandez, Loyola University Chicago
17th Gabe Miller ScholarLauren Higbee, University of Illinois Chicago / Jane Addams Colllege of Social Work
18th Gabe Miller ScholarLauren Belding, University of Illinois, Chicago / Jane Addams College of Social Work
19th Gabe Miller ScholarJennifer Copeland, Loyola University, Chicago
20th Gabe Miller ScholarJenny Vu, University of Southern California
21st Gabe Miller ScholarAlison Lehner, Loyola University, Chicago
22nd Gabe Miller ScholarAnnie Azriel, University of Illinois, Chicago / Jane Addams College of Social Work
23rd Gabe Miller ScholarDanielle Perry, University of Illinois at Urbana Champaign (UIUC) School of Social Work
24th Gabe Miller ScholarRaji Shivshanker, University of Southern California
25th Gabe Miller ScholarLynette De Dios, University of Illinois, Chicago / Jane Addams College of Social Work
26th Gabe Miller ScholarNakisa Choupani, University of Southern California
27th Gabe Miller ScholarSarah Mesick, Loyola University, Chicago
28th Gabe Miller ScholarAshley N. Grabb, University of Illinois at Urbana Champaign
29th Gabe Miller ScholarIvan Gonzalez, University of Southern California
30th Gabe Miller ScholarTiara Smith, University of Illinois, Chicago / Jane Addams College of Social Work
31st Gabe Miller ScholarCandyss Newman, Loyola University, Chicago
32nd Gabe Miller ScholarMelissa Farmer, University of Illinois at Urbana Champaign