Sacred Heart University Announces the Jack Chaves Scholarship

News Story: July 17, 2017
Alumna Alice Ferreira ’91 and her father Jack Chaves in 1993

The Chaves-Ferreira family and Sacred Heart University are pleased to announce the Jack Chaves Scholarship at the Fairfield-based University.

In the announcement, Jack Chaves’ only daughter, Alice Ferreira (Trumbull, CT) and 1991 graduate of Sacred Heart, said she wanted  to continue her father’s legacy of “paying it forward” by recognizing young adults who understand the value of work, taking responsibility and giving back and helping others.

“My father was the epitome of the American dream realized,” said Ferreira. “He came to America on a big ship with his sister Alice and $300 in his pocket to begin a life and start a family. A formal education was out of the question for one of eight children living in a rural village in Portugal, so hard work, a strong moral compass and a passion to support his fellow man was the cornerstone of his success. “To keep his story alive and to inspire others to act selflessly, we are thrilled to offer this financial scholarship to a Sacred Heart University student,” she said.

To be eligible for the scholarship(s), applicants must meet the following criteria and submit a one-page essay reflecting on how community service engagement and/or internship work demonstrates a personal commitment to social and cultural innovative approaches aimed at helping the underprivileged lead more productive and successful lives:

  • Must be a full-time undergraduate student
  • Must exemplify the core values and mission of the University through a commitment to helping others through volunteer service and/or active participation in campus activities. Preference will be given to students participating in community service and extra-curricular activities with non-profit organizations whose mission is focused on serving the underprivileged
  • Must demonstrate a commitment to continued academic excellence by maintaining an overall cumulative GPA of at least 2.5
  • Must demonstrate financial need

Candidates with a verifiable home residence in Bridgeport shall receive first consideration. Secondary consideration will be given to students with a Fairfield County home residence. Connecticut residential status is acceptable should no other students meet the previously stated geographic preferences.

Jack Chaves passed away in 2006 and since then, the Chaves-Ferreira family has been looking for the right place to host the scholarship. “When my oldest son became interested in attending Sacred Heart, I knew immediately that we had come full circle and the choice was made,” Ferreira noted.

 “My dad ensured family and friends immigrated to America to have a better life—not an easy life—but a shot to work hard and reap the benefits of everything this great country stands for,” said Ferreira. “With this scholarship, my family will do our part to ensure a young adult attending Sacred Heart University has the same opportunity to fulfill his or her dreams.”

Anyone interested in making a tax-deductible gift to the Jack Chaves Scholarship can visit https://weareshu.sacredheart.edu/chavesscholarship or contact Todd Gibbs in the Office for University Advancement at 203-365-4526 or gibbst@sacredheart.edu. Our goal is to double the current fund before fall.

Eligible students interested in applying for the scholarship can contact Office of Student Financial Assistance at 203-371-7980 for more information.