The laundry list of needs for new college students is dizzying. Money, clothes and door room needs are plenty, but when a teen’s caregivers are incarcerated, the list of necessities grows.

ScholarCHIPS, a District-based nonprofit, hopes to make college life easier for children whose parents are in jail. The group will host their kick-off event Oct. 23 and plans to raise enough money to award three $10,000 scholarships in the fall of 2011. The organization’s founders, students Yasmine Arrington and Niacka Carty, Aaron Jenkins of Operation Understanding, and Rev. Dr. Yvonne M. Cooper of Missing Link Ministry, will speak that afternoon to further explain the challenges children of incarcerated parents face.  “Teens with incarcerated parents, they fall into the same trap,” said Arrington in a press release. “They’ll end up in juvenile detention or they won’t have a desire to go to college.”

Attendees can also expect spoken word performances from additional students as well as refreshments. The criteria for the awards will be announced so even current students are invited to attend. Donations to ScholarCHIPS will be accepted that day but can also be made through the organization’s Facebook page or by contacting The program takes place 1-4 p.m., at St. George’s Episcopal Church at the corner of Second and U streets, N.W.