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The Madonna Foundation, established in 2001 by the Franciscan Sisters of Chicago, is a public charity that increases access for young  women to attend Catholic high schools in the Chicago area. The Foundation is the only one of its kind in the region focusing exclusively on serving young women with scholarship support and programing.  The Madonna Foundation annually awards tuition grants to young women who demonstrate financial need and the potential for academic achievement. Financial support averages $2,700 per year. In many cases, without the Foundation’s scholarships, these young women would not be able to attend Catholic School.

In addition to tuition grants, the Foundation provides college and career readiness seminars; leadership and empowerment workshops; spiritual retreats; service -learning opportunities, and one-to-one tutoring support through a variety of dynamic and innovative programs.  Our programing provides young women the tools necessary  to have a well-rounded education and success in high school, college, and careers. Our scholars build meaningful, productive and successful lives and will be the next generation of educated and compassionate leaders.

The Franciscan Sisters of Chicago formed The Madonna Foundation to carry on their legacy   of educating young women in the Catholic tradition of excellence. The Foundation educates the whole person by instilling the Franciscan values of Respect, Dedication, Stewardship and Joy.

Any applicant meeting our financial requirements and applying to one of our five partnering high schools will be eligible to apply. Our financial requirements for eligibility are $15,000 or less per person per year in the family (for example, a family of 4 with a total income of 60,000 or less would be eligible). The young women selected to receive the scholarship and to participate in the program are proudly referred to as “Madonna Scholars.”


Madonna High School

The Franciscan Sisters of Chicago opened Madonna High School in 1949 at the corner of Belmont and Pulaski. The school’s mission was to provide high quality Catholic secondary education to young urban women. For more than 50 years, Madonna High School kept this mission alive, at one time serving as many as 1,200 students. Unfortunately, due to declining enrollment and the economic pressures on private city schools, Madonna High School was forced to close its doors. Upon the closure of the school, the Franciscan Sisters of Chicago formed the Madonna Foundation to carry on the legacy and mission of Madonna High School. The Foundation represents all the best of Madonna High School’s proud traditions.

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