A project to give second chance education and employment skills to those      in need of a second chance in Washington County, MD & surrounding areas.

The three biggest issues facing Washington County are joblessness, drug addiction and previous incarceration. These three issues often exist together. There are limited job opportunities for people who have struggled with a past that follows them and the jobs that are available do not allow any chance for real life improvement.  While Hagerstown is an affordable city, it is virtually impossible to work for little more than minimum wage and save anything for an education.  And certain histories of incarceration preclude a person from receiving federally funded student loans, thereby virtually locking someone in poverty.

According to Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs, psychological needs (food, warmth, water, rest) and safety needs (safety and security) are the basis of psychological well-being, followed by esteem, belonging and self-actualization. This means that to be fully happy, the most basic needs a person has are food, shelter, safety, etc.… These needs surpass all others. The first step in solving the socio-economic problems of hopelessness associated with rising poverty, drug use and unemployment is to give people the hope of a secure future.

Rise Up Hagerstown offers second-chance scholarships at four regional institutions

of higher learning to include Barr Construction Institute in Hagerstown, Hagerstown

Community College in Hagerstown, University System of Maryland at Hagerstown,

and James Rumsey Technical Institute in Martinsburg. Scholarships are offered in the

amount of up to $1500.00 per year to those seeking opportunities to spread their wings

and soar as they work to rise above past experiences that hold them back. Specifically

those with histories of abuse or major trauma, and/or incarceration, and/or addiction,

and who have successfully removed themselves from that situation for at least 1-year.

Twice per year at designated times listed on our Scholarship page, applicants are encouraged to apply to be considered for a scholarship. Once approved for a scholarship, Rise Up Hagerstown is continually available throughout your training to provide ongoing support assisting you in any way possible with any obstacles you face, ranging from childcare, transportation, study skills and more, to ensure your success. We believe the more people are given a chance to better their life, the more everyone succeeds. The more people fall through the cracks, the more everyone fails. It benefits everyone in our community to see others succeed. You have worked hard to better your life, there is no reason your past should hold you back from improving your life financially and educationally as well. We commend your sobriety, rehabilitation, or recovery journey! These journeys require commitment and diligence. They are hard work which is why we believe in the importance of second-chance scholarship opportunities to help you reach the next step of self-sufficiency with a career that you deserve.


Scholarships are offered for most programs of studies at the four approved institutions of higher learning with preference given to programs of study in the areas of healthcare, nursing, behavioral and social sciences, technology, transportation, culinary arts, massage therapy, and trades. Eligibility requirements can be found with current scholarship applications on our Scholarship page. Explore the approved institutions of learning; apply at the school of your choice; and submit your scholarship application today!


Should you have any suggestions, concerns, or questions, feel free to contact us at info@riseuphagerstown.org or 240.347.1853.

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